This week I went to two classical music concerts in libraries and sketched at each . Both concerts were beautiful and I am in awe of the skill of the musicians and performers . They were:
- Bottled Snail Productions “Twilight Songs Under the Dome” at the magnificent and historic Supreme Court Library. I did seven sketches in an 75 minutes. I moved around the back and side of the room between musical pieces.
- Saverio String Quartet at the historic Melbourne Athenaeum Library. I did one sketch in 45 minutes, sitting in the front row.
I am most pleased with the above sketch of Saverio , at the second concert I attended. Perhaps I had warmed up my sketching the night before. I think I may have been a bit self conscious at the first (Bottled Snail) concert, as it was held in my workplace and a few people know that I was sketching,
I have sketched irregularly at classic (and other) music concerts over the past few years. It is something that I enjoy, but don’t feel in my comfort zone. I often draw people in groups, audiences or events, but for some reason I am not entirely happy with the results of musicians.
Sketching while listening to music enhances my appreciation and relaxation. However, it all depends on the music. Sometimes I will put my pencil down, close my eyes and soak it all in.
I have been reflecting about why I don’t have the same level of comfort as in other situations. I don’t have the answers but I think I know why I don’t have the answers,
One thing I have learnt – each situation is different – indoors, outdoors, amount of lighting, size of audience, number of musicians and how many musical pieces and the length of the pieces. Sometimes I can choose where I get a seat but not always. There are often unknowns.
I know that I need to make an early decision on what to draw with. I need to decide whether to choose my Lamy Safari ink pen or one or a few choice watercolour pencils. I then put everything else away. I don’t want to be disturbing and distracting other audience members by fiddling around, looking for colours.
Although listening to a concert is an audible experience, there is often so much visual.
One of the decisions I think that I need to make is about what to focus on and put down on paper. Are they sketchy or detailed ? Often this depends on my mood.
Do I want to capture
- The feeling of the music
- Musicians – faces, feet, hands, their movement
- Surroundings – the building, stage
I will try to think of them as a suite of options open to me.
At the moment I think that I try to capture it all. Some concerts are only 45 minutes, some much longer and will have a few different sets of musicians playing .