In The Field

     I am dabbling with art, as a hobby.  I always have.  Alongside writing, one of the things that I enjoy, particularly on a relaxing day out somewhere, is to sketch.  I have not done nearly enough of this, in the past five or six years.  I used to love going out for long walks and I would find a lovely place to sit either in a field or by a river.  There, I would sketch into my sketch book and then also play around with colours.  The aim being to create small sample pieces that represent the colour of what I am looking at.

     As my symptoms of Parkinson’s developed at a fast pace, in those recent years, it is with some degree of sadness that I recognise that such walking activities are now few and far between; and way shorter.  Not one for being defeated, however, I do now take the opportunity to enjoy sketching if we go for a day out boating on the Norfolk Broads or if we drive to somewhere lovely.  This is another reason that I am looking forward to making the best use of my Bongo; getting a long day out somewhere ‘off the beaten track’ and to sit and enjoy a beautiful landscape or setting.  There, I will be able to sketch.

     One of the very useful items of art equipment, that I keep in my home studio, is this little water colour paint set.  It really is rather wonderful.

     Not much longer than a mobile phone, though somewhat bulkier, this little unit offers a little paint sketching brush, a water container, a water colour palette with a decent array of colours, a little sponge and mixing plates.

     This little set, for use in the field, fits so easily into a small bag, large pocket or even into a picnic hamper.  This is one of those pieces of equipment that I would say every person who enjoys art should own.  Given that you can easily pop this into the glove compartment of your car, perhaps with a small sketch pad, you always have the opportunity to just take even a few minutes out to capture something that is meaningful to you.

     The sketching itself is just great practice but, given that this equipment also enables you to record examples of the colours you are experiencing as you observe your setting, you can easily return home, or to your studio, and replicate the sketch into a more formal and considered work.  Your recorded colours will be the guide you need to depict what you saw while you were in that sketching place.

     As a writer, in the first instance, I always carry a pad and pen for the same reason; to record something I have observed, experienced or sometimes just heard while out and about.  The details of life.  I hope that, along with sketches, I’ll have a lovely collection of material to look back upon, and to read, in my later years.  I think that, in many ways, these will be more evocative of memory and feeling than relying solely upon photos to record life’s delightful and interesting moments.

What writing and/or art equipment do you carry with you?

(C) Dean G. Parsons. 2019.

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