Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Edge of the Ice

ink, charcoal
ink, charcoal, pastel
ink, charcoal
charcoal, ink

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Wasp Nest

It's the time of year where we see exposed bird and wasp nests. I notice this large one every as I walk to the river. It's high up in an oak tree in front of a grammar school. It's gray of course but the shade varies depending on the weather. How it changes reminds me of Monet's haystacks and I've fantasized about doing a a series of paintings of the wasp nests.

Wasp Nest
charcoal, watercolor
Wasp Nest (detail)
Wasp Nest (detail)

Monday, January 1, 2018

End of the year

The willow tree
chalk, charcoal
A bitter cold wave has settled into the region and I have not been to the river in several days. But with yesterday being the last day of the year I felt compelled to mark it with a few observations. I'm glad I did although it took about an hour to warm my feet up afterward.

The cold weather had brought many geese and ducks to the open river and to the moving waters below the dam. I don't know how they manage. I'm sure I'm anthropomorphizing but all the animals seem a bit more focused in their dabbling and diving for food. And for many long stretches of time,  the geese are immobile with their faces buried in their warm feathers.

Canada Goose
There were two animals that were noteworthy that I was unable to draw. One was a Fisher who waited patiently on the ice shelf below the willow tree out in the river. The rafts of mallards and lines of geese knew it was there and stayed far away. It stalked them back and forth in slow motion as far out as the ice allowed but it was just a game to the birds. Perhaps the Fisher got lucky at dusk.

The other animal was a majestic Bald Eagle which soared above the bridge and wheeled close to the dam. This happened as an old acquaintance made her way across the bridge to the mailbox. Faith and I hugged and wished each other Happy New Year. I thanked her for bringing the lucky eagle! Last year I saw another eagle a few times. One of those time a group of crows intimidated the eagle away from some carrion it was nibbling on out on the ice. It took refuge in the trees above as the crows squabbled over their treasure.

Bald Eagle
charcoal, ink
There were crows yesterday too but it was too cold and breezy for them to get too obnoxious. They stayed up in the trees muttering about the few people down below and how stupid they were to be out in the cold weather when they didn't have to be. Well, some of us had to be: those addicted to Beauty and Nature. Happy New Year. 

Friday, December 22, 2017


Seasons Greetings to all!
Pine trees
walnut ink, charcoal
Ice edge and the dark dam
The Bridge
ink, colored pencil, charcoal
charcoal, ink
ink, paint stick, crayon

Friday, December 15, 2017

December 15th

2011: cold and a walk around Lake Waban where I saw a bird's nest.
2012: no outside drawings
2013: lots of snow and views of the river, island and the park. I must have gone back to the river in the afternoon because I noted the position of the moon and Venus.
2014: nothing
2015: a view of the island and a memorable drawing (for me) of a crabapple tree. No snow.
2016: one drawing of a rotting tree trunk and ducks in a dark pool.
2017: nope. Too cold. I did go for a walk around the lake. I heard noisy swans beating the air with their strong wings and a flock of hooded mergansers making interesting frog-like chatter out in the middle of the lake.
Here they are in order:
(wrong date on picture)

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