Sackville Sketching Walk with Kamaya Lindquist

Owens Art Gallery Mount Allison University

“Turning something mundane into a drawing is actually quite exciting because it's like rediscovering something that you would normally just dismiss.” - Kamaya Lindquist

In the summer of 2022, the Owens Art Gallery invited artist Kamaya Lindquist to lead two sketching walks around Sackville. The walks departed from Colville House, the former home of Alex Colville, and were inspired by the ways that Colville drew from the world around him, often including recognizable Sackville locations in his paintings and prints.

For Kamaya, these walks were a way to explore her own interest in drawing the mundane and often-overlooked aspects of our everyday environment, while leading participants in discovering their own surprising subjects within familiar surroundings.

This guide introduces you to three locations on the Mount Allison University campus where you are invited to sit, observe, and draw. Throughout, you will find drawing advice from Kamaya along with photographs that Kamaya took at each location that serve as visual prompts to help inspire new subjects for drawing. If you're not in the Sackville area, no problem! Use this guide as inspiration for walks around your own neighbourhood!

A note about terrain: This walk is on paved level ground, apart from the driveway to Colville House, which is gravel. At each sketching stop you have the option of drawing from the path or walking onto grass to find a drawing spot.

Sketchbook or paper Pen or pencil: take two in case you lose one or run out of ink! Rubber band: to stop the wind from blowing your pages Eraser: handy if you are using pencil

What You'll Need!

A folding chair or cushion: for more comfortable drawing Bug spray or sunscreen: depending on the season Viewfinder: to focus your looking You can easily make a viewfinder by cutting a window into a piece of card. Any stiff card will do, and you might even want to experiment with differently shaped windows.

Extras!

The walk begins at Colville House. The house itself has many interesting details. Walking around the house you will find a variety of trees, as well as nearby buildings that may catch your eye. Pick a spot under a tree or in the shade and get to drawing!

Colville House

“If you pick two things and then find a relationship between those, that can be a really good starting point.”

When it comes to starting your drawing, Kamaya gives tips on how to pick your subject: find a connection between two different things, like something manufactured, and something from nature! This image focuses on the gas meter, which stands in contrast to the stone foundation and grass below.

Perhaps the connection between two things is about a different kind of contrast, like the relationship between this new life growing from a small divot in an older tree!

Kamaya likes to work quickly at first to capture the feeling of the thing she is drawing. Then she goes back and adds detail.

“The nice thing about drawing something that you would normally walk by is you start seeing things that you normally wouldn’t.”

The second stop overlooks the Swan Pond. From here we can see trees and reflections on the surface of the pond. We can also investigate the architecture of the library behind us, and various built elements, like the lamp post or nearby utility pole. Find a spot on the grassy hillside or just off one of the campus paths, and get sketching!

The Swan Pond

When we walk around, even in neighbourhoods we know well, we often miss the smaller details. This image is a great reminder: how many times have you noticed the smaller details like this?

“You do tend to look at the world differently if you are carrying around a sketchbook.”

This quote from Kamaya is an important thing to remember when you’re on your walk: nothing is too mundane or boring to be made into art. Even something as simple as this window and weed can be inspiring!

“The ‘mundane’ changes when you’re drawing”

The final drawing stop is just a short walk along the path to the President’s Cottage and Flemington building. This spot offers lots of inspiration including vine-covered buildings, ornate stonework, and a diversity of trees. Depending on the time of year, this spot can be busy with the hustle and bustle of campus life or quiet when term is not in session. Pick a place to sit and settle down to draw!

Flemington Building

When it comes to drawing from real life, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out how to transfer what you see onto paper, but Kamaya reminds us, it’s still all just shapes! In this image of a railing, we can see rectangles and circles and triangles!

“If you are drawing... suddenly everything turns into lines and shapes, and colours, and textures.”

Why draw outside, when inside we can avoid the wind, rain, and BUGS!? Because of this reason exactly! Drawing outside allows us to connect with the world around us, and the art we create outside cannot be reproduced indoors.

“Drawing outside, to me, is primarily about connection...”

Kamaya acknowledges that it can be difficult and scary to draw, especially if you haven’t done it in a while, and particularly when you are drawing outside, in public. Kamaya says you have to be brave to draw, and we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge that!

Thank you for taking the time to share in this experience of walking and sketching. Drawing helps us connect to the world around us. The more you draw, the more you see. So keep drawing!  We’d love to see the sketches you make! Share and tag @OwensArtGallery or use #OwensArtGallery on your favourite social media platform.

Kamaya Lindquist is an interdisciplinary artist who works in video, sculpture, installation, and drawing. Observational drawing is a thread that weaves through her practice. Kamaya has taught drawing to beginning drawers of all ages. She holds an MFA from Portland State University, USA

We would like to thank Kamaya Lindquist for creating an incredible sketching walk experience, and for supporting the creation of this virtual guide. If you would like to learn more about Kamaya’s practice and her approach to drawing, check out these interviews: