Thursday, October 30, 2014

Heron Hunting

With the high water, the heron hunts from the shore at the base of the dam
(charcoal pencil)
When I try to sneak up on it, the heron spreads its mighty wings and glides away to safety.
(drawn from memory)
pencil, watercolor  
This time it settled near a thicket downstream on the opposite bank.
(china marker crayon)
…He looks like a gentleman waiting for a train
(detail)
Other days, after escaping, he sneaks under the bridge and lurks in the overhanging branches downstream.  I'm onto you Mr. Heron!
(oil stick)


Friday, October 24, 2014

The Nor'easter

A long storm (a Nor'easter to be exact) has drenched the area in the last 24-36 hours. Natick has had 4-5 inches of rain.
The river has filled up again and it thunders over the South Natick Dam. Geese and ducks fly overhead and see no safe places to rest. I did see a kingfisher and a young heron. These fish-eaters seem to be just doing reconnoissance; they go away, their stomachs empty.

The Charles River Dam
charcoal, ink
10-24-14

A Great Blue Heron
ink
10-24-14

Monday, October 13, 2014

Play By Play

Forgive me for playing catchup here. I draw quickly and my drawings accumulate. I vacillate between posting everything as in a diary (for my own benefit mostly) or blogging a curated selection with my philosophical musings on the meaning of Life and Art. I guess this post represents both approaches.

SUNDAY: I made four drawings yesterday: three in the morning and one later in the late afternoon.

A kingfisher perching above the river (for Paula C.)
ink, charcoal, oil stick
Sunday morning 10-12-14

The morning sun shining through the trees on the island
ink, charcoal, oil stick
Sunday morning 10-12-14
Blue trees, the dam and river in the distance
blue oil pastel, conté
Sunday morning 10-12-14
SUNDAY AFTERNOON: I'd been doing chores all afternoon but I promised myself I would get a coffee and relax by the river at the end of the day. I would sketch and play my mbira. The coffee shop closed at 4:00; I was there at 3:55. I'm almost never at the river at this time of day. Afternoon light is completely different than early morning.  A whole new set of delightful problems present themselves to the landscape painter. And since the trees are changing into their Autumn finery, many visitors stop and take photos of the landscape and each other. It was a beautiful time of day to be there.

Afternoon light shining on the bridge
charcoal
Sunday afternoon 10-12-14
MONDAY: Finally, I was at the river again this morning. Today is Columbus Day, a holiday in Massachusetts. The commuting traffic was light so I did my first drawing from atop the bridge (a few cars and trucks zoomed by inches away behind me).

A tree branch, the dam and the park by the river (very little water)
charcoal, oil stick, paint
Monday morning 10-13-14
Time for one last drawing: Great Blue Heron
conté chalk
Monday morning 10-13-14

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Forest Primeval

I took a walk half-way around Lake Waban this morning for no reason other than to enjoy a perfect Autumn morning. The trees were a blaze of color and the blue waters of the lake sparkled while the sun slanted across to illuminate the shallows where fish roamed. It was marvelously beautiful.

When I am not walking around beautiful sunlit lakes or sketching ducks and swans, I am making steady progress finishing the illustrations for a children's book. Several spreads of this book ("Over In The Wetlands" by Caroline Starr Rose, Schwartz & Wade publisher, 2015) feature forest and swampy bayou scenes.

Generally speaking, I try to keep my use of reference to a minimum in my illustrations for various personal reasons. But I'd been procrastinating on these forest scenes and deep down I knew I needed a jolt that only life drawing provides. It's so obvious!  So I spent a few minutes on my walk home drawing a small section of the forest. It was actually two drawings that were adjacent to each other --so I joined them into one wide image.

Whatever works! Now I need to stop blogging and get back to painting.

The forest around Lake Waban
10-10-14
ink, oil stick
"Over In The Wetlands" spread
watercolor 
work in progress
watercolor, charcoal

"Over In The Wetlands" finished paintings
mixed media
The forest around Lake Waban
drawing 1 (left side)
10-10-14
ink, oil stick
The forest around Lake Waban
drawing 2 (right side)
10-10-14
ink, oil stick
Some may notice and comment (please do) that these drawings are reminiscent of Lorenzo Mattotti's forest drawings (which I think he made in preparation for his "Hansel & Gretel" with Neil Gaiman, TOON Books, 2014). Yes, his work is amazing and memorable. --I met Mattotti at a book signing in Paris in 2009. What a memorable rainy night that was!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

10-3-2014

The bridge and the island with traffic. Reflections
pastel, charcoal 
Swan
charcoal

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Drawing in The Rain

Pleasant Street Bridge, rain
ink, crayon
10-2-24

Great Blue Heron
ink, crayon
10-2-24

Swan
ink
10-2-24
It's raining. We need it. I hope the pep band's instruments stay dry tonight!
Go Redhawks!




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