Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dam Blog!

I draw the South Natick dam several times a week in all weather. So maybe I should rename this blog the Dam (or damn!) Blog. But today, I will not draw the dam. It's just too cold now. Winter circles near and its cold breath is on my neck today. The house is cold and it will be hard to concentrate on work on children's books that I must get done today. Anyway, here are a few recent drawings of the dam. The water has receded in the wake of the hurricane. No animals to be seen. I look through past drawings and I see geese and ducks; where are they now? They warm my spirits! On second thought, maybe I'll duck on over to the dam later this morning when I have a break.

I hope you are warm. Bonne journée dear people!

colored pencil

charcoal pencil
A view from June 2012
colored pencil

Friday, November 16, 2012

Cattleya Orchid

A deep magenta Cattleya in the greenhouse this morning

well now!
I was in the Wellesley College greenhouses this morning. This magenta Cattleya orchid in full bloom stopped me in my tracks and took me back in time to Claremont and the years after. In this period of time, I kept some orchids going in my apartment. Improbably, they thrived in a cool west window. For months the plants would look dormant and then a bud would venture out and the fireworks would begin. There may have been snow dancing outside that window but inside I traveled in a perfumed orchid-spaceship. Where did it take me? Further on, further on.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Nub Of It

In my hand, I'm holding a colored pencil. You can see that the tip is worn down flat to the wooden sheath that surrounds it. I drew a picture and used up all the lead. I didn't have a penknife with me to sharpen it again.
It took one pencil tip to make the drawing below. It's a drawing of the dam and the bridge beyond it. I like the way the edge of the dam makes a clear horizontal break in the image. Ducks really did swim across the pool as I have drawn it. As the pencil gave out, I had to scrub hard to finish the water swirls in the foreground.

I'm not certain what the current income tax requirements are for calculating a deduction for donating art to charities. In the past, they've only allowed artists to deduct the cost of their materials. So in this case I've used one sheet of paper and about 3/8" of an inferior brand of colored pencil. I'm not complaining really but it ignores the intellectual poetry behind the entire effort.

There's something weirdly satisfying about using up art materials. I have to say (perhaps implying that it's not always true) that it is more satisfying than acquiring art supplies. My studio is full of materials and if all it takes is 3/8" of a pencil to make a drawing, I'd better get to work because I have a lot of pencils and paper floating around! And then there's the paint, magic markers, chalk, glue, crayons and the endless potential of the digital tools. It's daunting if you let it get to you. Better not then.

two lovely pairs of mallards

In this high contrast photo you can see the white incised lines of the wooden part of the pencil point

Thursday, November 1, 2012

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