"I draw rocks"

I almost forgot about this interesting woman I met on the first flight of my trip to Mozambique {Boston to Amsterdam}. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Miss Lilian Cooper who, when asked what she does for a living, responded with "I draw rocks". She went on to explain that she was on her way home after a month-long residency spent on the coast of Maine, drawing the rock formations. She is doing a 20-year project (I think 20 years is correct ...) tracing the edges of the North Atlantic coast! So she is getting sponsored to travel the world drawing the coastline. In looking at the very linear and detailed way in which she executes these drawings it's easy to make the connection between this work and the work of her past life as an architect.
Of all the people I could have been seated next to! Clearly, I had a million questions. I mean, how does one sit on the rocky coast and draw on HUGE pieces of paper? (many of her drawings are large-scale) And in pencil?! She said she just rolls it along. I assumed the paper must get really crinkled and dirty, but apparently that's not the case. A squished bug here and there, but for the most part, it stays clean. I was also really interested in how her drawings will be preserved, because after spending days on the coast, the paper has obviously been exposed to a lot of salty water. Too many questions, not enough time!

{ Also, she successfully carried a bag full of rocks onto the plane with her by explaining to the security that she is an artist and finds them beautiful?! }

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