Watercolor and Pastel Artists at CHAW
Having little idea whether or not there would be time, opportunity, or favorable conditions for sketching, I took along a small sketchbook, some pencils, pens, and a set of pastel pencils. What happened was something entirely different from what I expected. A co-traveller had given each of us a small personalized journal. While not normally a journal writer, this was calling out to me. It had an icebreaking ship on the cover! My partner Joy suggested I should illustrate my entries and this is what happened.
Most of the sights we saw from a Zodiac (with a guide and eight to ten fellow passengers), hiking across rough terrain, or standing on a cold, windy deck. The vistas were incredible. The hikes and the Zodiac tours brought us very close to seals, penguins, birds, whales, and icebergs. I took photographs of all that I could and, after getting back to the ship, I would write down the highlights of the day. I would then review the pictures on my little Canon SureShot camera and find one or two that I thought would be relatively easy to sketch and that would capture the essence of the day’s adventure. I would first sketch in pencil, then finish it in ink. Eventually, I began to use the pastel pencils to add a tiny bit of color.
There is a story behind the penguin cartoon. From the Zodiac, we watched a group of about six penguins “debate” whether or not to go into the icy sea to fish. They would waddle up to the edge, look in, then back away. One hesitant penguin stayed a little back from the rest. Finally, a brave soul plunged into the water and was quickly followed by the others, except for the hesitant one who took a few tentative steps forward, stopped, turned around, then after revisiting the edge several times, waddled back up the hill.