A Fool’s Errand

Returning from early spring in the southern hemisphere to impending winter here in Seattle, I joined the Seattle UrbanSketchers group yesterday for a sketching session at the Seattle Art Museum. What you see above, in the lower right portion of the page, is actually my second attempt at drawing the lobby of SAM, designed by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown in 1991. Below is my first attempt, which I had abandoned because I was having trouble with the proportions of the statuary and the scale of the space as it moved up the stairway between First and Second Avenues. Soon after beginning the second drawing, however, I decided to return to my first attempt and continue to develop it further. You can see a lot of the initial marks as I struggled with positioning and sizing elements but in the end, I think these tentative, exploratory strokes add character to the finished drawing.

This is something I remember telling my students but sometimes forget to follow myself—it is usually a fool’s errand to keep starting over when one has difficulties with a drawing. Better to stick with the task at hand and see where the process leads.