Saturday, June 28, 2014

Friday, June 20, 2014

Spatterdock

Spatterdock, Yellow Pond Lily
(Nuphar lutea)
June 17, 2014
colored pencil, watercolor, ink

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Baby Bird

A baby Red-wing Blackbird
June 14, 2014

This guy was  a brand new flier. He still had his pin feathers. Every few minutes he'd call and Momma or Poppa Blackbird would bring him a tasty bug to eat. The colored drawing was done later.

a few more birds: a distant swan, catbirds, a big grackle and the silhouette of a soaring Great Blue Heron.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Find the Bunny

June 8, 2014
charcoal
my trusty Peugeot atop the bridge
Last Sunday morning, I bicycled to Peet's for a cup of coffee My route crossed Waban Arches, a tall stone bridge that overlooks Fuller Brook and the Charles River. Directly below the bridge is a forest and a small winding stream. As I gazed down at the sea of green trees and the tangled branches, I saw an interesting shape on a log resting on the ground below me. It was gray colored and motionless but it didn't look like part of the tree. If I gave my imagination free rein, I believed it was a small rabbit. Could it be? I was about 100 ft. above the ground and couldn't see all the details of "the bump on the log."

Annie Dillard, in her 1975 Pulitzer Prize winning book "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek" suggests that the key to seeing animals in the wild is to assume that they are "artificially obvious." The "bump" didn't look like anything but part of the tree trunk. But to me, it was obviously (artificially so) a rabbit.  And, lo and behold it was! The "bump" finally wiggled one ear. Then it waggled its other ear. The spell was completed and the bunny soon began to forage on the leaves that were near the log. It did seem like an odd place to see a cottontail though.

I'm used to seeing rabbits assessing my carrots, lettuce and beet tops. These rabbits must be the Eastern Cottontail which was introduced into New England in the early 20th century. As a matter of fact, the native  New England Cottontail is flirting with "endangered species" status in Massachusetts. The culprit of course is suburban sprawl which converts rabbit habitat into people habitat. We have acres of National Parks for newly minted millionaires in metrowest Boston: long live the burghers of Wellesley and their progeny! The rabbits accept the crumbs and slums and just move further out …but I digress.

detail of the rabbit
the gray diagonal shape in the middle of this cell phone pic is the log. 
"Waban Arches" in Wellesley, Massachusetts. This the historic structure that I rode my bike on. The views are marvelous.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Bridge View

June 3, 2014
graphite
A view of a portion of the Pleasant Street Bridge. Vegetation is always a challenge to draw. The river flows downstream to the left in this picture.
I feel I have to add that at certain unpredictable times, other artists emerge in my drawings. In this case I was inspired by the one-and-only Benoît Guillaume who never fails to inspire me. He may have a few copies of "Montréal" his book of drawings done there. Guillaume is a native of Marseille, France.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

It's Sunday…

It's Sunday morning and I can draw the river while standing on the Pleasant Street bridge. From Monday to Saturday it's too narrow and busy with cars to draw comfortably. But early on a Sunday morning it's just me, the sun and mist, a few fishermen and the exquisite angles and oddments of the river below the dam. You can see the fish ladder in the upper right corner. To it's left are two sluice gates which can be opened in the event of flood (I presume) or some other emergency or river maintenance.

I was initially most attracted to the small island in the lower left corner. It's a challenge to draw tangles of vegetation and different layers of variously illuminated screens of tree branches and leaves. It's all about composition and transparency and overlapping textures.

I hope you can get out and observe Nature today.

The Charles River, South Natick, Massachusetts
charcoal
June 1, 2014

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