Tag Archives: Corvallis musicians

A Little Chaos in the Sandbox

“Sandbox Shakers”, mixed media by Kerry McFall


"Hint of Chaos", mixed media by Kerry McFall

“Hint of Chaos”, mixed media by Kerry McFall

Abstract!  By George, I think I’ve got it… as close as I’m going to come in this lifetime I suspect.  After scribbling for three weeks in a row as the Sandbox crew drummed and played for a couple of hours each session, I finally let my pen just dance around on the paper.  I left the sketchbook to sit and mellow on the music stand of our piano in the living room for a few days, then picked it up again this afternoon and let the fun begin with Photoshop.  Above is the result of just messing around – sort of a squirrelly portrait of Rob Birdwell the more I look at it…

Below are a couple of others I did the same night.  Once again, a young musician stole the show in my book, this one very young – middle school maybe? – but just drawing his hands as they flew over the drum, it looks to me like he’s got a future in musicland.

"Young Drummer", ink sketch by Kerry McFall

“Young Drummer”, ink sketch by Kerry McFall


sketch of carved marimbas

“Sandbox Shakers”, mixed media by Kerry McFall

Another Sandbox Session

collection of sketches

Sandbox Montage

I miss the Urban Sketchers in New York, but Monday night turns out to be a really good night for sketching in Corvallis! The Sandbox Session gives me something to look forward to all day, and Mondays are not my favorite… So here is a sampler of the results I like best, cobbled together in Photoshop because they make a rather nice composition… and because I have such fun with Photoshop!

There was a good turnout again upstairs at the Laughing Planet, with the addition of a young fiddler to the Sandbox Musicians, and a nice little breeze through the open French Doors.  I think the trick to sketching musicians involves several basic steps:  1) get there early for the best seat and get your glass of wine before you go upstairs; and  2) start fast, move your hands with the beat, be prepared to flip to a new page when they put down one instrument and pick up another, then flip back when/if they go back to the first instrument.  I constantly remind myself that the main point of a sketching session is to see, listen, experiment, learn, and enjoy, and that it doesn’t matter how much paper I use – learning is never a waste.

Oh yes, and 3) fill your water brush before you go, because you won’t want to take time to mess with it after things get going.  Once I quit mentally fussing every time they moved – which evidently happens nonstop with jazz musicians – I relaxed, and realized that my pulse was literally keeping the beat.  Slow beat, slow pulse; pick it up,  my heart is rockin’ out!  I hope the fiddler comes back again, my notes about needing more study are about me, not him – he’s a master already, but I definitely need to practice because I did not do justice to the lovely scrolls carved into the wood and the movements of the fiddle.