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« Plein Air at Carl and Cole | Main | Plein Air »

Train Tunnel Drawing

Train Tunnel at Carl and Cole, San Francisco
12 x 16 inches
vine charcoal on paper

Inspired by my plein air painting session with Mary yesterday, I decided to step out my front door today and try an outdoor sketch. This is a view of the entrance to a train tunnel in my neighborhood. I always admire the afternoon light bouncing in it and have been wanting to paint it for a while. I'm hoping to do a color painting, too. The tunnel interior is painted butter yellow and I just love how the curved shadow creeps around the inner surface. It gets a gorgeous reflected glow within the shadow.

I think one of my biggest problems with painting outdoors is that I am very shy to draw or paint where people can watch me. I hate anyone seeing my work before I feel it is in a good state. I've decided I have to get over this. So even though I live in a very pedestrian-heavy neighborhood I decided to brave the stares and set up right on the sidewalk. It was easier than I thought it would be.

I got a really nice compliment while working: A woman stopped and chatted with me, she said she was an artist too. She said she noticed that even though from far back the drawing is very hazy, that in fact close up there is a lot of structure. Structure!! I've been working explicitly on structure for months so I was thrilled she chose this word. I thanked her profusely but I don't think she realized how much it meant to me.

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Reader Comments (4)

Oh my Sadie! Outside does you good -- these are paintings i want surrounding me. I think that charcoal of the N-Judah line output by your house is my favorite thing i've ever seen of yours.
(wish Noel a happy b-day; i'll see y'all soon)

February 28, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpublic emily

Love the bigger movement in these! They feel more intuitive and alive.

February 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterscott

Sadie your drawing of the train tunnel has beautiful flow to it. It makes me feel like I'm there while the wind is swirling out of the tunnel.

Linda Dulaney~founder
Bay Area Classical Artist Atelier

February 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

You're doing such lovely work Sadie. I read your post about what you wished you had learned in art school. I had the same experience, four years of a mish mash of info which left ill prepared for life as an artist. Twenty years later I'm just now feeling like I'm on the right track. Better late than never!

March 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermichelle
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