Sarah Burns: Drawing From Nature

  Sarah Burns,  (2nd from left) demonstrates a landscape sketch at Hobart Bluff, Cascade Siskiyou National Monument.

Sarah Burns, (2nd from left) demonstrates a landscape sketch at Hobart Bluff, Cascade Siskiyou National Monument.

       "...it will slow you down and cause an increase in your powers of observation, so you get a connection with nature, a deeper understanding of it.”  Sarah F. Burns, Daily Tidings interview.

 At Hobart Bluff: Twisted tree and Sarah Burns' sketch. Images by RShaw 2015. 

At Hobart Bluff: Twisted tree and Sarah Burns' sketch. Images by RShaw 2015. 

Sarah F. Burns, local artist and art teacher, led the program beginning with a lecture on Friday night. She spoke to an audience of over 25 community members on the importance of capturing landscapes in art and why so many famous artists do. Through a slide show featuring art from both historic and present-day artists, Sarah took the audience on a tour of different techniques that could be used in situ the following day in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. 
     After talking about why artists draw landscapes, Sarah introduced the concept of Blind Contour – a technique where the artist sketches a shape without looking at the paper. Sarah explained that many children draw in symbols instead of drawing what they actually see, for example to draw a table a child will draw a sort of bracket to represent a table. “If you ever find yourself drawing in symbols instead of visually recording what you see, blind contouring will help you switch over to recording what is actually there.”
     Other topics covered included scale, proportion, scope, tonal qualities, light effect, perspective, and atmospheric perspective. The lecture, while only an hour long, showcased many stunning pieces of art. 
     The next morning, Sarah Burns led a hike through Hobart Bluff in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. The smoke did not deter the 15 community members who joined her to sketch the beautiful landscapes seen along the Hobart Bluff trail. Sarah began the day by doing a demonstration. She chose an intricately twisted tree and set up her easel commenting on the strong winds that had shaped the tree but would also influence her sketch. 
      By the end of the hike, every community member had created his or her own sketch as a souvenir of the morning’s hike and awe-inspiring beauty of Hobart Bluff. See some of the sketches on our Facebook page.
                                                                              --Rosetta Shaw, Friends of CSNM Board Member

Read John Darling's article at the Daily Tidings.  Sarah Burns teaches art classes in Ashland and you can learn more at Sarahfburns.com.