Sketching vs Hiking

June 29, 2011

I am way into hiking and yet I have very few hiking-related sketches. Since I use my sketchbooks as a means to document the moments in my life, it saddens me that a huge part of it gets left out.

The problem is that hiking and sketching do not mix. For one thing, it’s just inconvenient to lug my sketchbook and tools up a mountain or down into a canyon. And for another, my hands don’t seem to work after a few hours of intense activity.

I mean, yeah they work well enough for me to unscrew the lid from my water or bring a sandwich to my mouth. But when it comes to smaller, more detailed movements, like sketching, it just doesn’t go well. It’s as though I can only operate in one mode at a time. Either it’s the high intensity, full body activity of hiking, or the mellow yet precise act of drawing. Switching back and forth rarely yields good results.

But perhaps I just need practice. A couple months ago I lugged my sketchbook up to the top of Mt. Wilson in Sedona and managed to draw this gnarly tree. I kind of like it, though I wish I wouldn’t have done such a poor job on the shading at the base.

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