Friday, November 9, 2018

Starlings

Starlings are one of my favorite birds. I like their blue-collar pedigree and their creative, sociable aggressiveness. They just move into the neighborhood and get noisy and nosy and then they're off: equal opportunity starlingness. Watch out!
11-03-18-starlings
water soluble graphite
10-07-18-starling
charcoal
09-09-17-starling
ink
I know ONE person, a darling starling all fussy and fidgets, beneath those spangles a starless night sky of sapphire bleu.

04-12-15-starling
charcoal, ink
10-26-14-starlings
crayon
  

Monday, November 5, 2018

Autumn Reflections

November 3rd started gray and rainy. But in the afternoon the wind picked up and the sun came out. I was mesmerized by the reflections of the colorful trees as they were mauled by playful windy cat's paws.

Production note: most of the drawings shown here are smallish (in a sketchbook, 8 1/2 x 11"). The bottom drawing shown here is larger and was done in about 15 minutes.
The Charles River flows over the South Natick Dam

11-03-18-reflections01
pastel, charcoal
11-03-18-reflections02
pastel, charcoal
11-05-18-island
pastel, charcoal, ink

Friday, October 26, 2018

Repetition is not duplication

I've taken the words of the great, multi disciplined designer Alexander Girard to heart: "Repetition is not duplication." The Greeks suggested that you never put your foot in the same river twice because our selves are in a constant process of growth, upheaval and self-reflection. We never arrive. We are constantly journeying in this life. Cheers! Bon voyage!

The place where I often draw is not that large. There are only so many places to stand comfortably and view what there is to see. And I draw those things. One place I return to is a spot just above the top of the dam where the glassy smooth Charles River gathers speed and falls and pushes on downstream to Boston and the ocean.  I like the reflection of the trees in the smooth water. I like the abrupt line formed at the lip of the dam. I like the patterns and chaos of the splashing water. Wind, rain and snow further complicate the surface of the water. It's never the same twice (or five hundred times).

So, for you nerds who follow my work, here is a relatively deep dive into one small motif that I find intriguing. For an artist, once you give yourself permission to deepen your relationship with your subject, a completely new reason for being an artist wondrously opens to you. Again, "bon voyage!"

03-07-11-dam
11-14-11-dam
12-06-11-dam
01-20-12-dam
04-08-12a-dam
05-31-12-dam
10-01-12-dam
11-26-12-dam
01-30-13-dam
02-26-13-dam
06-04-13-dam
09-22-13-dam
11-02-13-dam02
07-16-14-dam
12-11-14-dam
04-04-15-dam
07-20-15-dam
04-08-16-dam
05-16-16-dam
03-22-17-dam
05-01-17-dam
08-07-17-dam
02-25-18-dam
10-23-18-dam

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Having Permission

10-19-18-ducks
ink, charcoal
04-26-17a
mixed media, ink

When I judge the drawings I make, a resounding permission comes from having fortunately viewed two objects in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts-Boston during the past several years. First and foremost is a painting by Soga Shôhaku entitled "The Four Sages of Mount Shang."

the left panel depicting an emissary from the emperor riding a donkey
(MFA link)
In the right hand screen, the four sages, camped out on the mountain make themselves at home in their self-imposed exile. (MFA link)
I made a quick sketch of the emissary last December
The second object is a Mexican writing desk. This is a detail view of one of the doors opened to reveal the "japonisme" style decoration inside. I love the exuberant and primitive confidence of these drawings. Please! look here at the MFA object page for more details.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Abstract but Real

10-07-18-duck
charcoal
10-08-18-ducks02
ink, charcoal
10-08-18-reflections
ink, charcoal

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