Friday, February 9, 2018

I am Not Thinking about Spring

Winter: I'm trying not to wish the time away! Hang in there Rob! It's still cold, icy, snowy (rainy!) and unpredictable. Spring is not "around the corner." Or is it?
Dawn arrives earlier each day and the birds seem to think they should chorus, greet and comment upon any additional crumbs of sunlight.

The amaryllis on my table seems to have gotten a mysterious summons and it races upward, a green exclamation mark. The trucks have left Yawkey Way, okay, why not entertain thoughts of Spring? Because! Because… making art is a way of stopping time. Art is a way of memorializing precious moments of experience, synapse to synapse which will soon flicker out like a streetlamp at dawn.

I need the darkness and stasis of Winter. I need the fiction that the world decelerates, stalls and hovers, peaceful and static before starting to pivot. Is Time punctuated? Is Time human? The grains of sand are mute on this subject. I see the day and the night but I live for the grayness when I can pretend to be still.

Oak Tree
charcoal, ink
Pine Trees
charcoal, ink
The Island
charcoal, ink
Ice covered river
Hooded Merganser
charcoal, ink

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Dating Habits of Hawks

I can't say I've ever seen three Red Tail Hawks perching together. Usually they are solo. Occasionally a pair perch or soar around the sky. They must have some family planning plans.

In 2012 I saw a pair on the steeple of the Congregational Church in Wellesley (scroll down to the last picture). Maybe it's my fuzzy memory or simply bad drawing skills but they seemed to overpower the delicate spire and weather vane. But I guess the take-home lesson from this sermon is to be fully at home in whatever preposterous situation you're in. I can imagine that "he" said "Hey, let's hang out at my place. The views are good and there are mice in the graveyard next to the church." "She" was intrigued by his suave demeanor and expensive plumage (this was Wellesley after all!). But, yeah, the accomodations were a little tight (and the mice were safely asleep in their burrows that afternoon) --and, perhaps for a little while, that suited her just fine.

Red Tail Hawk
charcoal, ink
Red Tail Hawk
charcoal, ink
Red Tail Hawk
charcoal, chalk

colored pencil
Two Hawks
Two Hawks on a church spire, Wellesley MA

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. 

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