Monday, May 27, 2013

Two Birds

May 21, 2013
charcoal
It's Memorial Day here in the USA. Get outside OK? And say "Thank you!"
I'll be at the parade cheering on the best marching band in Natick and my favorite flutist!
Bonne journée!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Me: Bird Brain

Great Blue Heron
May 23, 2013
charcoal, colored pencil
I wanted to tell this Great Blue Heron that I'd seen a big fat trout swimming upstream at the base of the dam, about 80-90 feet away from where he was hunting. But I had to be sneaky and patient enough to get him to pose and I didn't dare spoil the moment by trying to speak Heronese!

After ten fruitless minutes of peering into the rushing spray, the heron let out a squawk and turned toward me. It took a drink of water and then settled his feathers and started his vigil from a slightly new position. I think the tension must get to watchful herons and they need a little moment to regroup. Even this didn't work and soon the majestic bird flew downstream under the arches of the bridge only to take up the hunt again in a quieter section of the river. I wonder if it ever gets boring being a hunter like this? Who says that philosophy is a luxury?   A heron's worldview must be quite circumscribed and fishy but we humans could probably learn much from their patience and attention to detail.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Verdure


The Island
May 16, 2013
charcoal
There is an artificial island below the dam. I've watched it all winter get covered with water or snow and ice. Occasionally, taking shelter, mallards would curl up on the ice that formed around it. But now with summer so near, the island is a lush green oasis amid the rushing current. Grackles, starlings, robins and sparrows perch in the undergrowth and up in the branches.

The green color this time of year is stunning. "Verdure" and "verdant" are words that begin to capture this quality of bright rampant botany. All the leaves are new. Grasses grow 3-4 inches every few days and some trees are just getting their perfect, tender leaves. I suppose, when the temperature rises and the world gets used to summer, this green manic rush will slow down. Already, I can hear the caterpillars chewing and the lawnmowers growling. I sat under the trees this morning, drawing the dam and there was a steady sound of inchworm frass hitting my sketchbook paper. Eat and be eaten; the world is one big feast.

The Dam
May 18, 2013
colored pencil

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Compendium

4-27-13
charcoal, watercolor wash
4-27-13
charcoal, watercolor wash

ABOVE: Dawn light streams through the arches of the bridge. Upriver, a willow tree is lit up by the sun.
BELOW: a flycatcher rests on a branch that stretches out over the water
4-21-13
charcoal


4-28-13
charcoal


4-29-13
conté pencil

Gill-over-the-ground
4-30-13
charcoal

Lake Waban: thoughts about Music and Art
5-1-13
graphite

South Natick Dam, Charles River
5-2-13
conté pencil

Studies of a Great Blue Heron
5-2-13
conté pencil

Additional Great Blue Heron studies
5-5-13
graphite


Mallards below the dam
5-5-13
graphite


The island with the bridge in the background
5-6-13
graphite

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