We visited the Revelstoke Museum today. We walked into town, pushing baby Leo in his state of the art three wheel stroller, but even with its cushioned wheels, every bump gave him a substantial jolt. However, when I saw this stroller, I decided babies are probably better off these days, even if modern strollers don’t have the intricate structure of a wickerwork and iron model. Jimmy Samson was born in 1904 and it looks as if he could have sat in this well into his teenage years, it is so huge. In fact when he grew older he wanted to turn it into a go-kart, but this mother refused to let him, thank goodness.
My first reaction when I saw this was ‘I have to draw this but how? I can’t get any distance away from it because of the glass case behind me and my sketchbook’s too small!’ (You can see the scale compared to my fingers). But I decided to accept the challenge and see what I could achieve. It took me an hour and a half: I now know everything about how that stroller works, and if I had the skills I could reproduce it. That’s the beauty of drawing: it makes you look. A fellow visitor stopped next to me and said ‘If I hadn’t seen you drawing that I might not have noticed how intricate it is’. You can see how every swirl of wickerwork has been carefully designed so that it is both functional and beautiful, and even the pusher’s wooden handle has been grooved and tapered with loving care. There’s a simple leather strap to hold the baby in. and a practical little basket under where his feet would hang. A stroller fit for a prince.
And I had a go at working up a watercolour from yesterday’s aerial view of Revelstoke, using a photo to help with colour and details. I’m not too happy with it, but as Jo Willem advised, ‘don’t be afraid to show your failures’. She added ‘It’s really very hard to fail.’ I wholeheartedly agree, because if you fail it makes you more determined. If you pretend you never fail, you’ll never set your goals high enough. This is a competent sketch, but it doesn’t completely express what I saw from the top of Mt Boulder. I’ll just have to go up there again!
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