­ Minerva Getty

Minerva – 9 x 12 graphite drawing on pastel paper – after Nollekens

Yesterday I had the opportunity to return to the Hillside Getty in Sepulveda Pass for a little drawing practice. I just had time for two drawings this time – This first was this Minerva, the Roman equivalent of Athena, goddess of war. Unlike the Malibu Getty where there are numerous seats for viewing the sculptures, at the Hillside Getty they want you to keep moving so drawing means standing and balancing the sketchbook on your arm which is what I needed to do here. I much prefer the stability of working on my lap, but sometimes you just need to make do.

There were throngs of people, as usual. I started drawing this from one angle which was completely unsatisfactory and I turned the page over to begin again. A group of women walked by and asked if they could look. Rarely, I say no, but this time I did. “Is it bad luck?” one asked. “Yes, I said, it’s bad luck.” Gotta remember that one. Later another woman asked to see and I was far enough along that I was happy to show her the drawing in progress and we chatted for awhile about both Gettys and their Friday evening drawing class which happens twice a month. The gallery guard stopped by periodically to see my progress, too. He was a really nice guy and seemed to enjoy seeing the drawing take form. He said that an artist occasionally draws upstairs in the painting gallery but he scowls at anyone who attempts to speak to him so that says to me that people generally don’t know what kind of reaction they’ll get from someone who’s drawing. If I’m drawing indoors with plenty of time, I don’t mind stopping and chatting. But if I’m chasing the light with a watercolor outdoors, whoa, that’s a different story and I’m guessing my body language communicates that, too.


  1. wagonized
    April 4, 2007

    I am impressed by the fact you had to draw this while walking, albeit slowly. Amazing results for such a challenging environment!

  2. teric
    April 4, 2007

    This is another beauty Karen. I love how you do these sculptures! The lights and darks just sing.

  3. Karen
    April 4, 2007

    France, thanks .. what I should clarify is that when I said they want you to keep moving, they don’t want you to sit down on a bench near the sculptures. There’s no seating. I didn’t have to walk while drawing, I stood. But there was nowhere to sit and nothing to lean my paper and pad on.

    Teri, thank you as well!

  4. Claudia
    April 4, 2007

    I like your Minerva drawing!

  5. carole
    April 4, 2007

    Lovely drawing, Karen. Using coloured paper and having a white pencil is a great idea for museum sketching. I’ve always had white paper and just a pen or pencil, and it makes it so hard to get the light, which is the first thing I tend to see. I’ll try that next time I get a chance.

  6. Ronell
    April 4, 2007

    This is such a lovely drawing, Karen and the mediums you used.. just perfect for it!

  7. wendy
    April 5, 2007

    It’s the right medium for the subject and I also like using coloured paper occasionally and lighter coloured pastels etc. YOur diescription of the reaction of people to someone drawing is so true. People are curious and hover around and then we sometimes don’t mind but at other times find them intrusive. I get embarrassed at times and just up and leave.

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