Friday, April 29, 2011

After the Royal Wedding

Emergent fiddleheads (4/29/11)
Broadmoor Sanctuary 4/29/11
After Prince William and Kate Middleton's beautiful ceremony this morning, I went to Broadmoor Audubon Sanctuary to see what natural spectacle might be in the offing. The weather was fabulous: clear skies, early morning raking sunlight, not hot and just a hint of cool.

Ferns are emerging in the forest now and the fiddle heads grow very quickly. I captured several clumps of them in the drawing above. While drawing this (about 45 minutes) I saw a water snake glide past and a small turtle sunning on an exposed "tuffet" out in the water. Grackles had a spiraling aerial combat overhead and geese filled the air with their cacophony. The snake returned and retraced its route back to the other corner of the shore.

I did a second drawing at the end of the boardwalk (in purple pencil). I liked the reflections and the new plants, pencil-thin, arrowing up out of the still water. Geese zoomed overhead in both directions where nuptial parties were happening in the marsh. At one point I was surprised by a Merganser rocketing low over the water from one end and over the bridge where I was stationed.

Slowly, the process gets underway: The process of getting to know this place.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Before I go to work

a foggy morning at Elm Bank
Before I go to work (today, the Library to have some uncluttered time and space to develop several children's book proposals) I take a walk and draw a few things. Just me in the fog, flexing my imagination and fingers; trying to capture something. Grist for the omnivorous mill that is an artist's lot in life. I try to do this everyday.
There's so much happening in the Spring. I did slow myself down for a few minutes to draw the "Camperdown Oak" at the Cheney-Baltzell mansion at Elm Bank.

a cell phone pic of the oak. The myth is that after a  gardener grafted tree roots on top of the trunk, the roots were forced to function like branches. There's no doubt a life lesson in this fable of adaptation.

art and nature

reflections of trees

Crassula sp.? "Hens and chicks"

maple flowers and fog jewels

this might be "Butter and Eggs" a member of the Scrophulareacea or "Snapdragon" family.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


maple flowers

Skunk Cabbage

a tangle with birds
I'm scouting a new location for landscape drawings. These are from the Broadmoor Audubon Sanctuary in South Natick. It will take a few months of work to find my favorite motifs. Nice work if you can get it!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


A quick, partially finished sketch of the dam this morning
(6 April, 2011)

I found my blue crayon. It was in the pocket of some pants that I hadn't worn in a while. I missed it (!) and wanted to try it out again. Yeah, I missed a crayon. Life is weird; just let your imagination go wild!

Spring is definitely here --in a coy way to be sure. In a month or two, these drawings will have come full circle and I might be drawing this damn dam less frequently.  I will miss the herons and the families of ducks. I'll also miss the white noise of the water spilling over the dam and the coffee at the coffee shop.
Next summer (July 2012)  I have a small show at a nearby nature sanctuary and I plan to devote the year before it to work done in that place. So, if you can stand it, I'll be posting work from that upcoming series here as well. See? win-win! Here are some more recent renderings of this lovely place as it makes the transition from winter to spring.

another quickie done in conté pencil (30 March, 2011)
I like this one. It was done on one of the first slightly warmer days of the demi-saison. I curled up in some dry leaves, my back against a stone wall and just relaxed… and drew.
Colored pencil (18 March 2011)

a rare action shot
There's this Black Walnut tree here. Its lower branches are a magnet for fishermen's hooks and bobbers. By the end of the summer it looks like a Christmas Tree!
(25 March 2011, litho crayon)
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