Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Forest Primeval

Elm Bank
I draw scenes like this because I think they are beautiful and the act of drawing forces me to stop and enter a contemplative state of observation. I stood in the pathway for 25 minutes or so. People and their dogs passed by me. The sun pushed the shadows this way and that. A kingfisher noisily splashed in the river just beyond the line of trees. The yellow autumn leaves blazed like stained glass in a church.

What use is the drawing? I could sell it maybe. It could be visual research for a book that requires me to know something about forests. Mostly, these drawing go to sleep in my sketchbooks as I fill up the pages. But the experiences lingers and haunts me when I pick up my pencils and brushes far away from the actual forest. For example:


Red Riding Hood

"Owl & Tern in the Redwood forest"




Thursday, October 10, 2013

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Catch and Release

The South Natick Dam: this one little place sustains my interest and is just the right size to explore with my pencils and chalk. I know, it's probably very repetitive to you by now. After all, I've made several hundred drawings of it. Perhaps you've stopped visiting my blog because, really, how many times can you see the same old birds and aquatic geometry? Of course, for me, that's the challenge.

I can't add water or wildlife or change the course of the river or the shape of the dam across it. But I can monitor my approach and keep moving forward despite mental blocks or my occasional lack of enthusiasm. You might agree that the real subject is not the mallards or the level of the water. I'm just an angler or lepidopterist trying to catch hold of something unexpected in my very own consciousness or the actual world. And then, catch and release!

A heron prowling at the dam
conté pencil

Mallards and a heron in the shallows just below the dam

Seen through the railing, a mallard looks feeds on top of the inclined wall of the fish ladder
colored pencil

Low water on a chilly morning

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