Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Relaxed Ducks

These mellow September days! A shower here and there. Leaves falling and suddenly the park is bursting with activity. All the ducks are grown and feeding and preening and very busy. It must be caused by the diminishing length of the days. But the light of September and October is so precious and crystalline (when it's not obscured by torrents of rain or fog).
I drew this view of the bridge yesterday morning. I like trying to suggest the different states of the water: flowing and still, home to ducks and geese and tiny fish.

The ducks were quite busy feeding and paddling up the current. Then they would drift down sideways and across the current and start over again. They all look so relaxed! Natick: home to relaxed ducks! You heard it here first!

Bonne journée!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The End

Endings are just beginnings right?
Goodbye to Summer.

South Natick Dam: one more mallard

(colored pencil, 23 sept. 2010)

Hello to Autumn

Lake Waban: a solitary swan

(colored pencil, 24 sept. 2010)

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Bridge 2

"The Pleasant Street Bridge" July 1, 2010 colored pencil and ink spot
The picturesque Pleasant Street Bridge in South Natick was built in 1857. It replaced an earlier structure built by Rev. John Eliot and the local aboriginal inhabitants. Before that, there were Indian fishing camps on this location.

Throughout the beginning of the new millennium as American banks were destroying the world's economy, the bridge was falling into disrepair. Finally, the state of Massachusetts ordered that it be repaired. This quaint looking structure is a vital thoroughfare in this area's morning commute. There are more than a few rich bankers who probably use it every day.

A new deck was created and all the masonry was cleaned and re-pointed. They even fixed the worst, most crumbling sections of the retaining wall. The well-used park is still a bit shaggy but volunteers keep it looking tended and loved if not improved. Maybe that's the best we can hope for in a down economy: Sounds like good advice for people too: keep them tended and loved and don't worry too much about improvement.

[all drawings done in colored pencil in my sketchbook in July-September 2010]

I love the light that comes through the arch: complicated shadows and reflections all contained within a bold geometric container.

A pair of mallards, a heron and the late-summer weedy lawn.

A heron plying his trade in the shadows

two cars rushing by above the low water

I like this view looking across the river as it flows under the bridge.

I need to look for some new subjects though to keep things interesting. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The ups and downs of late Summer

the lily pool and fountain, Elm Bank

© Rob Dunlavey

About a week ago, on a very hot and still morning, I headed out a bit later than usual in the morning and made this sketch at the decrepit Cheney-Baltzell mansion at Elm Bank. My soft green pencil dented the soft paper of my sketchbook as I drew. The humidity made the paper even softer. Eventually, the darn scene got drawn. Why? Why??

I guess I get some weird pleasure in representing things, more or less, as they are before my gaze. It's also a way of possessing something that I see often but yet when I see it each time, it's like it's new and never before seen. Drawing helps the neurons line up a little more amourously when I see that familiar thing again. I think the test if this is true is when I turn my attention to the faces of the people I love. And when is that likely to happen?

Here are a few more monochromatic renderings of things seen around my neighborhood. It has been a fabulous pleasure returning to the river and all these familiar haunts over the summer. I've gotten acquainted with the animals, the water's flow and the light. If you like to draw, I can't recommend it enough.

looking downstream near the bridge, heron and mallards
(© Rob Dunlavey)

reflections at the top of the dam
(© Rob Dunlavey)
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