Friday, December 9, 2016

Who Cares?

Here are some drawings from the past week or so. Thanksgiving seems so far away and Christmas is looming. Time speeds too quickly and it's getting cold. And I feel myself entering a bit of a trough. Artists are susceptible to "writer's block" too.

I have so many drawings of this place. Who cares? Why make another one? Maybe I can just walk and store the moments in my soul somewhere. Why must they be in this tangible form?

One of my neighbors mentioned last week how it makes him feel good when he sees me walking home up the street with my drawing supplies in hand. My routine and discipline give him a pleasure and stability perhaps. At lunch today a friend joked that my instagram and facebook friends would be disappointed if I didn't post a drawing or two each day from the river. I guess there's some truth in the idea that we can make a stand in this life. And from that place we wave to the world --or whoever cares a little: "Hey, I'm okay. I'm checking things out and you can too!"
We carry on.
Happiness is my duty! 
(Thanks to Michael Woodcock, colleague and friend for that outstanding idea. You still shine on).

11-25-16
ink wash, chalk
11-29-16
charcoal, wash
11-30-16
charcoal, ink
12-4-16
charcoal, ink

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving

Thanks to the people who built this park by the river. They built it long before the modern scourges of pollution, overdevelopment, loss of natural habitat and the technological distractions that obliterate intimate moments in our personal existence. I hope you get outside today and see that Heaven is right here. Now!
Or look out the window or look into the eyes of those whom you love. It's the same.

Okay, that's it. Happy Thanksgiving day.

11-18-16

11-18-16

11-22-16

11-19-16

11-13-16

Friday, November 18, 2016

Processing

Everything I do in my sketchbook (even drawing the ducks) is an attempt to make sense of the world or is an attempt to reconcile some aspects of the world that disturb me.

On November 9th, the world awoke to the news that America would have a new president who, to put it mildly, departs from the norm. There were many reactions to this news. People will be making adjustments for a long time. Some will wait anxiously. Some will feel liberated to violence. I for one, will continue to draw Nature and search for any context that bolsters hope for constructive solutions to difficult problems and most of all, tolerance and peace.
But right now, I just see tangles.

11-9-16
colored pencil
11-9-16
chalk, paint stick
11-10-16
crayon, charcoal, ink

11-10-16
charcoal, paint stick
11-17-16
charcoal

Monday, October 24, 2016

Autumn

It's Autumn and the twigs and branches are slowly being revealed as the Summer's leaves drop to the ground. But not too fast. At any moment there will be the perfect equilibrium of substance and space. The world: a plain weave of reality and unreality.

10-20-16-island
ink, charcoal, chalk

10-21-16-crows
ink, charcoal

10-18-16-trees
ink, charcoal

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Singing in the Rain

ducks in the rain
10-09-16
charcoal, ink, rain
It's Autumn: a beautiful time of year. The Summer's drought is slowly fading. But I dread the coming of Winter just a bit. I've enjoyed the Summer and Fall and being able to observe and draw so many animals at the river: ducks, geese, sandpipers and herons. Winter is cold and the animals are less active. I have to reinvest myself in drawing the trees and contours of the river banks and forest. And in cold fingers and feet!

Since I draw almost every day, I'm also out in the rain sometimes. I don't mind because the rain adds an element of unpredictability to the drawings. Wolff carbon pencils get black and juicy when wet. India ink never dries. There have been a few times when my drawing has been mostly washed off the paper. I try to snap a photo before they get spoiled. But alas, often the final drawing is sometimes a wan reminder of time spent foolishly drawing in the rain. But I'm one of those people who finds some value in foolish pursuits. 

three or four ducks
10-09-16
charcoal, ink, rain
one duck
10-09-16
charcoal, rain
Eliot Bridge
10-09-16
charcoal, rain
the South Natick Dam
12-21-16
charcoal, ink, rain
The top of the dam
01-16-13
charcoal, rain
Wetlands
04-20-16
charcoal, rain
The Charles River
11-28-15
charcoal, rain
Ripples
12-22-15
tusche, oil stick, charcoal, rain
The Island
03-21-15
ink, wash, pencil, rain
Reflections
03-28-15
ink, rain
The dam
04-20-15
ink, latex, rain

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Every month is Inktober!

Many artists on social media do ink drawings in October and post them. It's called "Inktober." I would too, I suppose, but I'm simply not that organized. Anyway, I love rich black India ink and I use it almost every day anyway.
Happy Inktober!
mallard ripples
ink charcoal
10-04-16
Ripples
crayon, ink, charcoal
09-30-16
ducks
pencil, ink
09-26-16
feeding mallard
pencil, ink
09-08-16
The island
02-07-16
ink

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Interruptions

I saw the crows fly up to the trees when I drove up to the dam today. They don’t normally hang around the park. Then I saw the popcorn scattered on the ground.
The crows busied themselves in the trees until I too was interrupted: a motorist’s car battery had died. I was able to help her (and the crows could finish their breakfast!)


Crow
09-03-16
ink, charcoal
Crow in tree
09-03-16
ink, charcoal

Friday, August 26, 2016

Drawings of Birds

We are experiencing a most humid and extended canicule. It's hard to remain motivated and our febrile brains boil in their sun-baked containers. There have been a few respites here and there but it is one of the hottest Summers in recorded time. Water still flows over the dam though, despite the drought, and ducks, geese and sandpipers have converted this place into their parade ground.

The swans keep their distance however. Great Blue Herons soar overhead en route to quieter corners. A kingfisher purposefully dashes about in contrast to the indulgent infighting of the noisy mallards. Interestingly, a small noisy tribe of goldfinches has taken to foraging in the exposed river bed.

I wonder what September will bring?

Canada Goose
08-11-16
ink, colored pencil
Mallards before the dam
08-11-16
ink, pencil
Two Ducks, rain
08-02-16
ink
composition
07-29-16
charcoal, ink
Trees rise up behind two mallards on top of the dam.
08-19-16
ink, charcoal



Friday, July 29, 2016

Low Water

It seems a bit early in the year to have such low water in the river. I'm not concerned and I presume that this is simply the variability of the seasons. In my limited experience, August and September are usually months of low water …then tropical storms and hurricanes come and fill things up again.

What I am concerned about is the rapid rise and fall of the river's water level whenever we have a significant rain. It's probably due to increases in all manner of human development in the watershed. Also of concern is an increase in algae growth. This, once again is due almost exclusively to landowners relentlessly fertilizing grassy lawns and old septic systems.

Nevertheless, the low water always comes at a time when mallards are fully fledged and feeding on mats of algae and other slimy plant growths on the now-exposed face of the South Natick dam. It's fun to watch their antics as they clamor up and down like nimble feathered alpinists.

07-26-17
pencil
07-27-16
ink, charcoal
07-27-16
ink, charcoal
07-29-16
ink, charcoal, conté

Friday, July 8, 2016

Full of Life

It's July and the river is full of life. Birds are everywhere and I try to draw a few of them from time to time. I hope you like them.

Canada Goose
07-04-16
chalk, ink
Great Blue Heron
07-05-16
ink, charcoal
Great Blue Heron
06-30-16
ink, charcoal
Three Goslings
07-01-16
chalk, ink
Young Geese
07-03-16
ink, charcoal
The view downriver: ducks, heron
07-07-16
ink, colored pencil



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