• Maggie MacMullin

Socially Distant Sketching

Updated: Apr 9

I often name cafes and bars as my favorite places to draw, frequently purchasing a snack or beverage and so "renting" a space to work. But it is also true that I pay rent on a designated studio space where I enjoy painting and printmaking. I could be honest with myself, and admit that I just really enjoy variety--or more bluntly, I get bored easily. Happily, this is not problem in a city that offers seemingly endless venues for sketchbook and pen. That means fewer excuses for days when I feel lazy: the whole world can be a studio.

Of course, the events of the past few weeks have taken away those top three of my drawing spots. No more sitting for an hour or two in a cafe, at a bar. The makerspace has essentially closed its doors for the time being. And so the world that was my studio has become much smaller for the next... some amount of time.

Before I got into the groove of making sketching something of a habit, I used to miss the constraints provided by teachers and professors for their assignments. Having to operate within their parameters--albeit for the sake of a grade--could inspire otherwise untapped creativity. By now, I have learned I love to make the observed world my constraint: draw what I see around me right now. Being confined to one's home does take the fun out of that, because I can't change what's around me like I could by walking to the cafe down the block.

So, with this unplanned, undesired set of constraints now upon me, who had been feeling free, I suppose I am a little excited to see what new directions I might stumble into. Stumbling because so far, this transition has not been a graceful one.

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