Friday, December 22, 2017

Blobs

Seasons Greetings to all!
Pine trees
walnut ink, charcoal
12-19-17
Ice edge and the dark dam
ink
12-22-17
The Bridge
ink, colored pencil, charcoal
04-13-16
Grackle
charcoal, ink
05-19-16
Ducks
ink, paint stick, crayon
11-18-16

Friday, December 15, 2017

December 15th

2011: cold and a walk around Lake Waban where I saw a bird's nest.
2012: no outside drawings
2013: lots of snow and views of the river, island and the park. I must have gone back to the river in the afternoon because I noted the position of the moon and Venus.
2014: nothing
2015: a view of the island and a memorable drawing (for me) of a crabapple tree. No snow.
2016: one drawing of a rotting tree trunk and ducks in a dark pool.
2017: nope. Too cold. I did go for a walk around the lake. I heard noisy swans beating the air with their strong wings and a flock of hooded mergansers making interesting frog-like chatter out in the middle of the lake.
Here they are in order:
12-15-2011
12-15-2013
12-15-2013
12-15-2013
12-15-2013
(wrong date on picture)
12-15-2015
12-15-2015
12-15-2016

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Why trees don't fly

Blackbird flock
12-06-17
ink, wash, crayon
I'm happy drawing things that are very far away. It forces a selective brevity. Also, the restlessness of the birds forces me to only fuss about their essence and not their superficial presentation. How they contrast with the solid and overlapping trees!

Trees are content (for the most part) being trees. But when a flock of blackbirds lazily slides overhead, the trees pull at their roots and try to hitch a ride. They have to content themselves with being the solid and stable ones in this relationship --as ordained by the Creator. The trees will bear nests and the marvelous talons of resting birds. This is why trees do not fly.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Quelques arbres ...

11-23-17-trees
ink, charcoal
11-30-17-bridge
charcoal, ink
11-30-17-hawk
charcoal, ink
12-01-17-riverbank
ink wash, charcoal

Friday, November 10, 2017

Being Graphic

Below are three drawings from the past week that only share one trait: they have a more "graphic" quality than drawings that are descriptive. Graphic work is often characterized by contrast, rhythmic mark-making or tight cropping of the subject. I'm sure we could come up with more signifiers. I tend to be more graphic when I draw from Nature. It's more interesting to me. Also, I'm usually working on black and white or very limited color. If I were working in full color, some other approach would emerge. So, maybe I should do that… work in full color.
Pine Tree
11-05-2017
charcoal
Great Blue Heron
11-09-2017
paint stick, ink
Foam
11-07-2017
ink, charcoal

Friday, November 3, 2017

Stalker

I've been stalking this fellow this past week. He's very reliable. The water is high so he tucks himself in the eddies near the base of the dam and catches a few fish. The last fish he carries to a quieter pool to digest peacefully. This is where I found him today. Soon, he'd had enough of me and wheeled over the bridge and alighted on the driftwood tree downstream of the bridge.
We'll see how long he lasts. He's young so we'll see.

11-03-2017
11-02-2017
10-30-2017
10-30-2017
11-01-2-017
11-03-2017

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Bridge

Here are a few of the 25-30 drawings of the Pleasant Street Bridge I've made this year. In random order:
10-28-2017
05-03-2017
01-06-2017
06-06-2017
10-21-2017
05-11-2017
04-26-2017

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Stop!

Duck
ink, charcoal
10-18-2017

Knowing when to stop is probably the most important skill that an artist possesses. Sometimes I have it but most often I'm skidding around unaware and I keep adding things to the drawing.

As soon as I added the little marks on the left side of the duck I regretted what I had done. It was too much. I think without them you could still tell that it was a duck, swimming away on a foggy morning. You can see that right?

But I drew those cute little marks to indicate the feathers --just a little naïve calligraphic noise. Just having fun --but they are unnecessary.
But, this is a drawing and it is all about searching, the struggle, showing the scars, etc.

Today, I drew a goose. No struggle here.

Goose
ink, charcoal
10/19/2017



Friday, October 13, 2017

Inktober

Some of my playful colleagues might be dismayed but I don't get into the whole "Inktober" thing where, in October, artists make ink drawings and proudly and copiously post their tagged work on the net. For me, Inktober isn't a month. It's been 24/7/365 since my teens I guess. Just another day in the salt mines. I'm sure many of my colleagues would agree.

Rocks
10-13-17
ink
Pine trees
10-11-17
ink
Heron
10-09-17
ink
The Island
10-12-17
ink, chalk
… And a few pieces in my studio style…

10-06-17
ink, watercolor
10-13-17
ink, colored pencil, paint
09-08-17
paint, ink, chalk

Friday, September 29, 2017

Noise & Intelligence

I open my eyes and the world comes into focus, reliably. Seems like a miracle when you consider how this happens in the interplay of biology and the world. It appears to be necessary to my survival (or at least my genes) for the world to be intelligible. I look at noise and find patterns, stories and intelligence.

Drawings and paintings are able to move over and between the divide between abstraction and recognizable things. I like the ambiguity of this process. I become curious when I realize that I've been looking directly at a thing, like a heron in the river or my glasses and not actually "seen" it.

Perhaps, noise is what we see …before we see.

There's a book I read back in the 1980s titled "Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: A Life of Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin" by Lawrence Weschler. Recommended.

starlings feeding on elderberries
ink
09-09-17
mallards & reflections
ink, charcoal
09-13-17
Mallards and reflections
charcoal, ink
09-22-17
Mallard on top of the dam
ink, charcoal
09-25-17

Friday, September 8, 2017

Private Moments

Mallard
ink, oil stick
09-03-17
Mallard
charcoal, rain
09-03-17
Mallard and foam
ink, oil stick
09-03-17
Mallard on top of dam
ink, charcoal, acrylic
09-05-17

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