Strokes with Watercolor and Brush

figures line watercolor Sep 05, 2020

Back in 2004 I had the good fortune of working with BT.  He showed up to one of Pat Sonne's en plein air life drawing sessions. Pat and I had just begun collaborating on what we called Zakar Events.  We attended local pubs where Pat moved to the live music as I sketched, inspired by the energy and mood of the pub. Simple brush strokes and ink lines danced across my paper.

The idea was to create art in public places where people could watch and be part of the collaborative experience of creativity between musicians, dancers and artists. The audience also played a part in the level of energy in the room. People became sparked by an awareness that something unusual was happening. They tuned in more to the music, watched the woman dancing "a bit over the top" by herself in the pub and the artist passing little scraps of paper around to dry atop beer mugs and wine glasses.

At each life drawing session Pat and I introduced artists to movement sketching by demonstrating several techniques. When we were at the pubs, I brought extra supplies for people to use if they wanted to give it a try.  Often, people did try.  It was dark.  They were comfortable knowing that not too many people would be able to see their drawings. 

BT is a photographer. I don't recall how BT knew to show up at the life drawing session by the lake.  Our movement sketching demonstration intrigued him and he asked if he might model for me.  He'd never modeled before and thought movement modeling might be something he would enjoy.  I took him up on his offer and invited him to my warehouse studio.  BT is tall and lean with the most expressive hands I've ever had the joy of being inspired by.  He had a natural instinct for movement modeling.

We totally clicked. My brush moved effortlessly as I watched him move, ever so slowly, twisting, turning, bending, stretching. The gesture of his head and hands spoke to the artist within me and guided the lines that appeared on the paper, one after another, after another, and another ........... He unlocked a door to the joy of playing with brush and line that I had only scratched the surface of before.  Thanks to BT I fell in love with my own line making.  It was the first time that no one else's opinion mattered to me.  

Life gets in the way of the flow of creativity.  Our schedules changed and our sessions ended. Memories of those magical days of sketching and painting BT as he moved about my studio warm my heart and make me smile.

As I cleaned my studio last week, sifting through every painting, sketch and scrap (I'm still not done), I found myself making a pile of some of the sketches I did of BT.

The more I thought about them, the more I realized how important our sessions together had been for me, revealing one of my strengths that I'd been blind to. 

In future posts I will say more about this and share other images of brush line sketches of musicians, dancers, yoga postures, zumba antics and concerts.  I also have another pile of BT inspired sketches done with other assorted tools.  All of the images in this post are of BT and were done with only brush and watercolor.

Thank you BT!

Thank you for reading my blog.

Chris Carter - artist

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