Sunday, August 12, 2012

"Third International Urban Sketchers Symposium"

Santo Domingo.  Eight or nine months ago if someone had asked if I had ever considered going to the Dominican Republic I would have been astounded that anyone would even think the thought, let alone ask the question.  But when it was announced the Urban Sketchers would hold their "Third International Symposium" there, I had to find a map to locate the island; somewhere in the Caribbean was all I could muster. 

I departed for Santo Domingo on July 10th and returned on the 16th.  Four days later we flew to Southern California to spend a few days with our daughter and family at Disneyland, the Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach and the infamous Farmer's Market just east of Beverly Hills. We had a great time; but ... Santo Domingo continues to reverberate in my head while California lies there soft and quiet. 

Santo Domingo: the heat, the humidity, the fabulous sketchers, the sessions where we were introduced to new ways of thinking about sketching, the food, the dogs, the people, the Zona Colonial, the total experience - bouncing around inside my skull.

Percolate: that was the word that came to mind as we neared the final day.  I would need some time for all of this to drip, to stir, to percolate inside my mind before I could begin to get a grasp on what I had experienced.  Maybe it is an age thing, I don't know.  But the visuals, the sounds, the smells, the textural sensations, are beginning to overshadow the overwhelming humidity that blanketed everything else while there.

This sketch is probably my favorite from Santo Domingo.  It was during the sixth and final session I attended on the third day of the three day symposium, offered by Veronica Lawlor, and titled, "The Decisive Moment" that the experience began to come together.  She was checking out my progress when she noted, correctly, I was having trouble with proportionality in my small 6x9 sketchbook with the thumbnails.  She handed me a larger sheet of paper, 9x12, and said, "fill it up." 

That may have been my defining moment in making a turn away from a tightness I have been fighting for years.  It was like I needed someone to give me the "license" to just . . . let it go.  And I did. 

This is it.  I hope you like it.  I do.  If you want to see more of my work there, click on the image. 


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