Sketches from the Museum of International Folk ArtPosted: May 28, 2022
There’s no shortage of great museums in Santa Fe, but unfortunately I didn’t have time to see them all. I did spend a couple of hours at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, and there are others on my must-see list for the next visit, like the New Mexico Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts.
I love sketching in museums, especially if collections are colourful and 3-dimensional. It’s the best way to really spend time looking at and appreciating the art. But sketching in many museums is often not permitted, at least with anything more than a pencil. I often bring a small sketchbook to the MMFA, work in pencil in the galleries and then add colour to my sketches in the museum café because, understandably, using ink or watercolour near the artwork is prohibited.
But there are exceptions to this rule, and if you checkout each museum’s guidelines for visitors, you can prepare properly with the right materials before visiting. One of the most welcoming museums for sketchers is the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe. I spent a day there with each of my workshop groups, and I think we all felt a day was not enough! First all all, sketchers are welcome to set up stools, draw in the galleries, and even use ink and watercolour in front of the display cases. Plus, the collections of folk art from around the world are so fascinating that you do actually need a few visits to absorb them all.
We only had a morning there, so most of us filled our pages with ink drawings, and then added colour later. I sketched objects from many countries, picking and choosing based on the shape of the object, working from large to small and filling in blank spaces with progressively smaller shapes. I added lettering later too. If you are in Santa Fe, don’t miss a visit to this place, hopefully with your sketchbook in hand.