Friday, August 05, 2016

Another Comfort Food

I played hooky from the studio yesterday. I have a yoga class on Thursdays pretty much smack dab in the middle of my day. I could have gotten some quilting in before I left, and surely some after I got home. But I've been wanting to add this to my comforts sketchbook for awhile, saying no to the itch because of "more important and time sensitive" things. Oh heck - let's see how far I can get in the hour before I need to grab some lunch and go tend to my body and soul.

I sketched it out in pencil before lunch, added the color once I got home. Look at all those colored pencils I used to work out what at first glance looks like a pretty simple color scheme! That's part of the interest for me in doing these sketches. I'm enjoying learning how these pencils work on various paper (this sketchbook's paper is smoother on one side than the other), training my eye to recognize a match between pencil pigment and object, and which colors when blended will achieve a match when no one pencil color does. I always say to myself I am not going to include every detail because the thought of it often overwhelms me to the point of convincing myself I can't even start. And then, as I get engrossed in the process and the challenge, I find those details getting added. In this case, it was all that lettering on the bread wrapper, especially the smaller script under "BUTTERMILK". And yet, when I got to that part, it was not that hard to duplicate.

So here's the story, part of which you can read in the picture if you click for the larger version. I am of the generation that grew up on white bread. Then as a young adult, I embraced the movement toward making things from scratch, especially baking your own bread with wheat flour and other "healthy" things added. I love a good wheat bread, no doubt. But there I was in the grocery store, spotting this "Old Fashioned Buttermilk Bread", and thinking of all the things I'd fixed lately with wheat bread that somehow didn't taste quite right. Yes, I realized, there are some things that simply call for white bread, and I grabbed up a loaf. Since then I've confirmed my theory as my french toast now tastes like it's supposed to, the ham shines between two pieces of white bread, and that quintessential kid's cuisine peanut butter and jelly sandwich melts deliciously in my mouth. JIF is the brand of peanut butter mom always bought. I actually can't remember if it was "creamy" or "extra chunky", but over the years, I've become a fan of the latter, even as I drifted away from JIF to eat other brands. There is some difference between brands - some sweeter than others, some oilier than others - but most very similar in taste. However, my tongue will do that trip down memory lane when JIF is on the bread.

This seems a good place to share another quotation I ran across the other day. I've expounded quite a bit about the value of sketching from life as opposed to a photo and while taking photos is an important part of learning to see and compose, the camera doesn't exactly capture the way our eyes do. And I think we've all experienced people so busy snapping pictures to "capture the moment" that they don't spend much time at all looking at the actual scene. I guess this is why I responded to this from art critic John Berger's book About Looking: "The camera relieves us of the burden of memory . . .the camera records in order to forget." That may be a cynical view of how we use the camera, but I know I've experienced that myself. And I've also experienced times when I wanted to take no picture at all, perhaps knowing I couldn't truly capture say, that sunset, anyway. Better to put the camera down and just drink it all into your memory. Or carve out the extra time to reproduce what is before you by coordinating eye and hand in the process of sketching. 


The Inside Stori said...

Oh my…..your sketching is so good…….I never thought it was bad but honestly now?!?! It’s fabulous!!

Sherrie Spangler said...

I can't remember the last time I had peanut butter and white bread -- probably in high school. Now I'll be thinking about it every time I go down the bread aisle! Great drawing, by the way. As for taking pictures, I find that having a photo to look at years later helps reinforce the memory. I tend to soak up scenes with my eyes, then take a photo if I know it's something I'll want to look at later.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thanks Mary - getting better (and easier) the more I do it. Isn't that true of any skill?

Sherrie, good point. I definitely think there's a place for "reference" photos as well as times when a quick snap is all you have time for. I also know I "see" beyond what is actually in a photo, that memory enforced you speak of, things someone else viewing the photo would not because they were not there. Your own photo invokes a whole array of senses in that captured moment, even emotions. The trick is to find that middle ground like you do, where you do not rely on the camera totally to remember for you. And to remember that the camera won't always capture the color the same, a real frustration of mine.

Living to work - working to live said...

I'm not a fan of peanut butter, to be honest. I keep a jar in the cupboard, but on,y for when Daughter No 1 comes to stay.

And not sure about Jif! Here in Blighty Jif is a cleaning product!!

The Idaho Beauty said...

Well, perhaps then there's a different spread for your white bread that you remember from your youth. At the moment, I'm thinking about strawberry jam, not sure why, except I do remember open-faced sandwiches with just the jam. And oh my - that is too funny about the identical brand names with far from identical uses. :-)