Monday, May 30, 2016

Wet Work

It's raining today in Natick. It's a good day to curl up, read books and drink hot tea. Of course, I went outside at 7:00 A.M. to see if anything was happening at the dam. I brought my sketchbook and some charcoal pencils and a jar of mixed inks. I like the chance effects of rain, snow and even ice in my drawings. Once in awhile, something great happens. However, more often the drawing gets washed away. There's a metaphor for life in here somewhere. Below are today's efforts and a few from years past using an assortment of media.
A Great Blue Heron in front of the dam (in the rain)
charcoal, ink
30-05-16
Looking over the top of the dam
charcoal, ink, colored pencil
30-05-16
the same drawing above, in the wild
When I sketch in the rain, I try to take a photo of the work because the rain often washes everything away by the time I get back to my studio.

The island in the rain
21-03-16
geese in the rain
21-03-16
heron under the bridge
01-07-15
various ducks
11-09-16
28-07-14
28-07-16
Using a hard charcoal
20-04-13
I think this is a slightly water soluble litho crayon
 23-07-16

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Grackles and swifts, Oh my!

a sheet of grackles
ink
5/14/16

A grackle soars over the river
charcoal, ink
5/19/16
Swifts hunt high above the river
charcoal, ink
5/24/16
A swift zooms close to the water
charcoal, ink
5/24/16

Friday, May 20, 2016

Amsterdam sketches

Our second port-of-call was Amsterdam where we celebrated our wedding anniversary with the King and the boisterous orange-clad Amsterdammers of this wonderful city. Between rainstorms, we were welcomed to the studio and into the home of Dutch illustrator Gertie Jaquet. It's so nice to close the loop and finally meet people one has only admired and known through social media. She shares a studio with several very talented illustrators. I had the pleasure of comparing books and sketchbooks with another fabulous illustrator Georgien Overwater.
We were in Amsterdam at a busy time: King's Day. But I suspect it is always a bit of a pageant of individuals careening and full of passion and energy yet ready to relax and celebrate the tulips.
bicycles everywhere!

So many bicycles of all sorts and configurations

Capt. Coq from "The Night Watch"


At the Rijksmuseum: Rembrandt and Isaac Israels

The mesmerizing pen and ink "paintings" of decisive naval battles by Willem van de Velde 


two different "The Baptism of Christ" images featuring male figures with heads obscured by towels or clothing. Fra Angelico did this too. Why?
"God Saving the Infant Jerusalem" from a stained glass window. Illustrations everywhere you look. The world is a comic book!

Then an early morning Thalys train to Brussels and my head starting to spin combining memories of Copenhagen & Amsterdam and anticipating imagery of cities and familiar faces to come.



Monday, May 16, 2016

Copenhagen sketches

In April and May, My wife and I took a to Europe to visit our daughters who are both studying abroad. Julia was finishing her junior semester abroad in Copenhagen. Ellen is in Belgium for a few more months. We also visited Amsterdam and Paris.
We spent a 4-5 days in beautiful Copenhagen. We also got up to Louisiana to visit the contemporary art museum and Kronborg Castle. We met wonderful people, wandered the fragrant lanes of Christiania, and tried to get the Palace guards to smile at our silly tourist antics. Next up: Amsterdam.

04-21-16
Old and new elements, seen from the trampolines :)

04-22-16
Danish house styles en route to Louisiana, north of Copenhagen
04-22-16
Kronborg Slot: the castle that inspired Shakespeare's "Hamlet"
04-23-16
two sketches of the city across from our waterfront hotel
04-24-16
The Danish Architectural Center across the canal
04-25-16
Another view of the DAC and a nearby cruise boat
04-25-16
a frisky cormorant enjoyed the cold, sunny weather
04-25-16
A view up the quay at The Standard, beyond, around the corner is the picturesque Nyhavn canal.
there are many beautiful spires in Copenhagen
The unique spire of Vor Frelsers Kirke
Odds and ends seen during a canal boat ride.
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