Sunday, September 16, 2018

Changes

09-16-18-dam
charcoal
My schedule has been perturbed in the last couple of weeks and I've been going to the dam in odd moments. Sometimes for just a few minutes. And some days not at all. This is good and bad: absence makes the heart grow fonder. Familiarity breeds contempt. All this change helps keep my witness keen and ready for surprise. Hopefully.

The river has a healthy flow of water (considering it's September -a usually low water month) which shouldn't have surprised me (but it did). The additional water has made it possible for a school of large carp to pool around in one of the eddies in front of the dam. On the other hand, the additional volume of water rushing over the top deters the ducks and geese. Change is good. It keeps us on our toes.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Willow Tree

The willow tree is in the middle of the river, downstream from the bridge looking east. I often see it in the morning as I look into the rising sun. Willows like to have their feet wet. I've done several drawings of it this year beginning in January.

08-20-18-willow
07-01-18-willow
03-15-18-willow
01-20-18-willow
01-15-18-willow
01-04-18-willow

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Dead Duck

08-05-18
ink
08-05-18
ink
Last Sunday, I was drawing the ducks in the water below the bridge. It was nice. I was working on large sheets of paper (27 x 32 inches) in ink. I had done two drawings. And then I saw the dead duck lying on the stone wall of the bridge. It was perfect and I expected it to shake itself off and fly away. But it was stone dead. No more flying for this poor creature.

I wondered how it had died. Did it miscalculate and crash into the stone wall? Maybe it came up over the wall only to slam into a truck or car passing by? I'll never know.

It's death looked instantaneous. A small trickle of blood had seeped from its bill and dried on the granite blocks. Everything else about it was unruffled and gently curved. No feather seemed out of place and its marvelous orange feet were folded neatly tucked close to its sides. There were jewels of dew on its breast and I could appreciate the fantastically fine texture of the feathers on the duck's head and neck.

I felt anger. My anger and sadness surged and I resumed drawing: a preening duck, it's wing raised in a defiant "fuck you!" I didn't have the heart (or stomach) to nudge it off the wall and to a watery grave. I came back on Monday and made this drawing. By Tuesday, someone or some thing had moved the carcass and it was nowhere to be seen.

And, as you can guess, all the other ducks down below on either side of the bridge could have cared less. They just went on preening and squabbling and getting on with Life. My life, on the other hand, paused.

08-06-18
charcoal
Duck, preening
08-05-18
ink



Friday, July 27, 2018

The Bridge

There are four stone arches that comprise the Eliot Bridge. It's always an intriguing motif to study. I must have over one hundred drawings of it. Here are some random favorites.
The bridge crosses the Charles River which flows through the Boston suburbs on its way to the Atlantic Ocean. I frequently see ducks, geese, herons, cormorants, fish and less frequently: fisher cats, raccoons and foxes. People too! It's a good picnicking spot and fishing hole.

08-23-17

05-16-15
06-14-17
04-13-16
05-26-18
02-10-17
11-03-14
01-14-17
05-14-13

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Horizontal

Here are some drawings I made in the past few days. I do them quickly: 30-40 minutes at the most. They are drawn on 11 x 17 inch sheets of copier paper. So there ya go.
Mallards at the base of the dam
07-14-18
charcoal, ink
Geese on top of the dam
07-14-18
ink
The walnut tree and the island
07-17-18
charcoal, ink
Logjam
07-18-18
charcoal
Four mallards
07-18-18
charcoal, ink

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