Friday, June 3, 2011
I recently got back from a trip back to Michigan for my favorite Civil War event, Remembrance Day at Greenfield Village. It was really refreshing to see my family and good friends and spend some quality time away from the 18th century.
Due to utter sewing burn-out, I didn't make anything new for the event and the only preparation I did was to swap out the buttons on my wool asymmetrical dress. I would have liked to have a new ballgown and a sheer dress and a complete male civilian outfit (I have indulged in many fond daydreams of dressing as a boy and running around wonderfully free), but I suppose I didn't want any of it enough to actually pull out fabric and start sewing.
I did do something new this year though, and took some drawing supplies along with me to sketch at the event.
This little wooden box was a gift from a friend a few years ago, and it was the perfect size to kit out as a period-ish drawing set. Inside I have a thin sketchbook/notebook, loose pieces of paper, graphite and charcoal pencils, a rubber eraser, and a pocketknife for sharpening the pencils. On the outside the box is about 6"x 8" and is about 1.25" deep... the inner dimensions loose nearly .5" off those measurements. I can just about fit in all the essentials, while it's still small enough to easily carry around or sit in my lap.
The sketches are naturally rather small, and were done rather quickly in about 5-10 minutes each.
Passersby seemed rather intrigued by the sight of whomever I was drawing sitting so still-ly in our camp, and a fair number came up to investigate. There would be a few moments of awkward conversation as they tried to talk to my subject, who would reply without moving more than their mouth, (my friends make very good artist models... at least for short periods of time. I have yet to test them with longer sittings.) before they noticed me sitting close by and saw what I was doing. You could see the moment everything suddenly made sense to them, and I often heard, "Oh, you're drawing" in tones of happy surprise.
Unfortunately, I was not brave enough to venture out to draw people who were not part of my camp, but I suppose I'll have to address that deficiency next time. Doing impersonal gestures is one thing, but as I am particularly fond of doing portraits, shyness is a luxury I can't really afford to indulge in.