Afternoon at the Art Museum

26 February, 2017. The Bloch Galleries have reopened at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and no I wasn’t hiding my brush pen from the museum guards and avoiding eye contact with docents during the inaugural kick off event yesterday. The crowds were out in force, the newly renovated space was packed to the gills, and it was standing room only except in the most out of the way corners. Pencils are, fortunately, not frowned on in the museum. So in addition to enjoying the absolutely incredible lighting, the rooms dominated by the color of the artworks, and a handful of excellent pastries, I elected to capture some of the contemplative moments of this event.

The color, of course, was added later on. I used gouache, a media I’ve been toying with in my sketchbook from time to time recently. I’ve always enjoyed using water media to reactivate drawn lines. This is taking things a step further by taking the melted ink of the wetted line and allowing it to wash into the painted layers of color. It’s interesting that this media allows me to “correct” proportions and solidify forms that reminds me a bit of carving paint in oils. Looks nothing at all like oil paint though.

I was pleased to quickly capture the pose and attitude of this museum visitor. Sometimes the likeness and attitude just seems to flow. (And sometimes things don’t work out so nicely – a couple of my other sketches wound up stiff and disproportionate.)

I said I wasn’t hiding my pen from museum guards, but I was stalking one. This fellow seemed to know he was being observed and kept turning his back to me, so that’s what I sketched. (Kuretake No. 40 brush pen, gouache, in Canson 180 sketchbook.)



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