Friday, August 8, 2014

100 (Almost) Views of Haystack Rock

On the heels of a most inspiring ICON conference in Portland, Or. this summer, I treated myself to three days at Cannon Beach on the magnificent Oregon Coast. Cannon Beach is home to the infamous Haystack Rock. There is no doubt that once one is on this majestic beach, everything is about that Rock. The Rock looms large as you round the coastal highway, approaching town. It is a sight to behold. It has a presence, a persona, that is overpowering. People flock to it all hours of the day and night, when you are eating in a restaurant, every so often you hear "Haystack Rock" wafting through the conversations, when you are shopping, you are asked if you have been to the Rock, when you are given directions, it is always in reference to the Rock. From my incredible beachside room, I could see the Rock, and I, too, fell under the influence. On my first day, I tooled around the coast, driving to Manzanita, a town that has an equally beautiful beach, but it did not have that Rock. I drove north to Astoria and had some great chowder under an historic bridge, but, again, no Rock. I found myself missing that Rock. It was like a companion piece for me- 
a stability, a, well, a Rock. 
Of course, I drew it the minute that I got there, hardly doing it justice. 
But, as its presence and comfort grew in my mind and my space, I realized that it was always with me, even when I was 40 miles away. And that is when I thought about one of my favorite and biggest inspirations, Hokusai. Most of you will know who I am speaking about if you think about the image of the big wave- but he was so much more than that. First and foremost in my mind, an incredible draftsman whose sketchbooks are legendary. Another lesser known book that I adore is Hokusai's 100 Views of Mt. Fuji. And that is when I decided "yes, I am going to channel Hokusai! 100 views of Haystack Rock." It was 5pm on Tuesday when inspiration struck. I had to leave for the airport at 8am on  Thursday am. I set to work. No one had to twist my arm to walk in and around the beach for a day, sketchbook at my side, working feverishly to get to my goal. I did not make it. 75. That is where 
I ended.  I think that I could have, if I used my photos to record those last 25. 
But, this was a challenge to draw it on location.
 I am back now, from my mini vacation with the Rock.
 I still feel as if it is over my shoulder.


cathy mcauliffe said...

These are great! How gig are they (what size sheet or sketchbook did you use? Thanks for posting them.

N. Lee said...

These are amazing. Such variety!

deb rossi said...

Wonderful! I love the format and your challenge to sketch the rock. being from Portland I have seen the rock many times but these sketches (and your explanation) have given it new meaning. Congratulations on your follow through!

Shari Blaukopf said...

Yes, I agree, amazing! Still wish we had managed to meet!!

memi said...

Cathy, thank you! they are the size of my Cachet Studio book, approx. 7 x 10. Thanks, N. Lee
Thank you Deb- coming from a local, that means a lot! Shari- thank you- I think that it is time that we make a real plan to meet up somewhere! Will talk soon~

Joan Tavolott said...

I can feel the presence of the rock here!!! Great sketches. I love how you have it peering out small in some of the sketches and so looming in others.

Great sketching with you and Susan today!

winna said...

this inspired rock work will not be forgotten...I love this type of challenge...they are truly marvelous !

Cheryl Razmus said...

So here I am at your blog for the first time, coming from the intro page on Sketchbook Skool, Storytelling, and what is the first thing I see? Having just this week returned from a vacation in Portland and Astoria, I find I have missed the one thing on my list for the week that I didn't get to see! Being tired and really in need of quiet time, my husband and I decided to spend more days watching the freighters on the Columbia River in Astoria. But now I know that next year on my return, I will definitely hightail it to Cannon Beach. Thanks for the great series!

memi said...

Thank you Joan_ i hope that we can draw again soon.
Thank you for your kind words, Winna~
Cheryl, thank you for the visit! You did what I was thinking of as well, but just did not have enough time- I would have loved it there too, I think!

tallcheryl said...

I just signed up for my third course of Sketchbook Skool. I can hardly wait! Working through the introduction materials and found your introduction info plus drawings of Cannon Beach. Loved seeing your drawings. I grew up in Cannon Beach (1949-1967). I have walked the beach and viewed Haystack Rock MANY times. I never get tired of seeing the beauty of Cannon Beach and the rock. I am inspired by your drawings and the "100 drawing" idea. Will I draw Haystack or another subject? To be determined! :o) See you in Klass.

Marcy Singer said...

I was at Haystack Rock two weeks ago on my first trip to Portland. I now regret that I did not sketch that day, after seeing your incredible series. I look forward to your klass in Sketchbook Skool this fall. (my email is I feel inspired already. Thanks.

Bob and Rosemary said...

I absolutely love the way you design your pages!