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  • Writer's pictureMonique Sliedrecht

Singleness of 🧡

It's a little cooler, a little breezier today.

I managed to get out before any rain started falling, and made my way south along the stretch of coast in Freswick Bay. This time I went a little further than I might normally, intrigued by the stone patterns.

The rocks were still a little wet, but I took my rain jacket and placed it on a boulder to sit on,

pulled out my sketchbook and pencils, and started to map the lines of the strata in front of me.

They are a little like puzzle pieces....

I allowed my eye to follow the line and drew contour style, occasionally letting my pencil come off the page and then finding my place again.

Suddenly the sun came out from behind a cloud, shedding the most beautiful glow over the bay,

highlighting the autumn colour of the various seawracks held fast to the rocks. I got rather excited and jumped up to try and capture it. And then I sat for a while, soaking it in.

I don't always have patience that seems to be required for drawing, but then I try to sketch something quickly, capturing the essence or shapes, the energy through line.

Of course, changes in weather also determine what is possible. Soon the clouds returned and big droplets were falling which drove me to pack up and head home.


Ruskin believed that without a knowledge of drawing one could not fully appreciate nature. He wrote once: 'I would rather teach drawing that my pupils may learn to love Nature, than teach the looking of Nature that they may learn to draw....

Go to nature, in singleness of heart.'

Techniques, he believed, must be acquired together with the skill of 'learning to see'.

I am beginning to have a first hand understanding of what he meant.

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