Friday, April 24, 2015

Wet Paint

The South Natick Dam on The Charles River
ink, latex, rain

Sunday, April 19, 2015

What I Saw

cloudy skies
charcoal, crayon

the island, submerged
graphite pencil

water going over the South Natick Dam
charcoal, litho crayon, oil stick

The letter S
litho crayon, ink, wash, oil stick

Monday, April 13, 2015


pastel, ink wash, oil stick

litho crayon, ink wash, oil stick

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Bugs for Breakfast

detail of bug

insect on balustrade
April 7, 2015
ink, charcoal
I saw a bug of some sort on the balustrade above the dam this morning. It looked like an ant with long wings. Soon it will fly which means that the swallows and swifts will return and the hungry trout will start snapping as they swim upriver to spawn. My friend Steve M. will put on his waders and join the other fishermen at the dam. Herons will take their share of the smaller fish. We may even see a cormorant or two. I can't wait to document all of this and the new season that is just beginning!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Thoughts

Sacred Heart Church, South Natick, Massachusetts
April 5, 2015
It's Easter Sunday and I went for a walk in the neighborhood. There's Sacred Heart, a Victorian-era Catholic church; it's for sale. If you bought it, we could be neighbors. I think about the abandoned church and all the new non-human life that has moved in since the congregation was forced out. I imagine oak trees growing in the chancel and generations of mice and sparrows in the sacristy. Pigeons roost up top in the sun but inside the air is filled with dust motes, rainbow colored sunbeams and the fluttering of sparrows.

A little further away on my walk, Pleasant Street crosses the Charles River. I descended a steep bank on the sunny east-facing side and drew the arches. The water is high and moving swiftly downstream to Boston Harbor 30+ miles away.

Pleasant Street Bridge
charcoal, ink
April 5, 2015
Pleasant Street sustains a lot of commuter traffic but it's quiet on weekend mornings so I stand on the bridge (there isn't a sidewalk) and draw the island and the dam. Still, I try not to stay there too long (20 minutes); people were up and about driving to Easter church services and my fingers were getting cold. In the drawing below, you can see that the island is completely covered with water. Now and then a big slab of ice would bob along and linger in the eddies in the lee of the island.

View of the isnad and dam from the Pleasant Street Bridge
charcoal, ink
April 5, 2015

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Snow flurries

As I was sketching the other morning, snowflakes started to swirl around me. They fell in the pools of black ink in my drawing of the water in front of me.

I had to leave before the ink dried and when I opened up my sketchbook at home, the pools of ink had dried and smeared. It almost ruined the drawing and I thought I should fix those parts that were diluted by the added snow and the blotting that happened while I walked home. But, after reflection, I decided that I liked the result: the finished image displayed the balance between my intelligence (such as it is!) in the world and the world itself. We have détante here between order (such as it is!) and the benign chaos of Nature.

This makes me think of Jackson Pollock who asserted that when made his famous "drip" paintings he became Nature itself. I'm not so sure. But then, I'm not sure of many things. In the end, it's a philosophical question and these, we know, have no answers. Best to just enjoy the ride.

work in progress

ink, crayon, melting snow

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