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R&D – Research and Development!

February 17, 2009

This sunday we went to Cabo da Roca to decide the paths to take and the views to draw when we take our participants with us in March. The sun was brilliant and we had gourmet food in our backpacks. This area has fishermans trails along the hilltops, with cliffs and ravines falling straight down to rough beaches some 50 meters below. The sea and sky are so vast when you are high up like that, and we loved the sensation of climbing up and down these steep hills, always with the beaches underneath us.

Sweaty jeans-clothed tourists made their way by us and took pictures of us as we sat drawing the cliffs. We decided pencil was the decidedly best way to draw stone, playing with the jagged lines, the torn contours and patterned textures. Showing you one done with black conté and one done with pencil.

But soon we realized that the heavy rains of this winter had given the bushes an advance that were not in favour of the paths… This is a vegetation of dense, thorny bushes, beautiful from afar, but a bit hostile if you need to force your way through! For a while we had to try our way back and forth in a thorny labyrinth, getting stuck and going back many times. Sara, our mapreader and pathfinder was always cheerful and always seeing possible paths where we mostly saw.. bushes..

As we sat down on some huge boulders to eat, I suddenly had this moment of immense appreciation. My arms were scratched, i had hurt my leg slipping, but we were there, together, making our way, creating a Sketchbook Walk from what was possible in that landscape. It was springtime, perhaps the first sunny sunday in months, and we were doing our favourite thing; R&D …Should we bring oil crayons and draw the lichen up close? Should we bring coffee and treat people with some Sintra cakes? How long should we walk and how long should we draw? We must use colours, look at that sea!

Let’s see if we can find a way over that obstacle, so we can get down onto that beautiful beach…! This is what we do.


From → Nature

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