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
mallards & reflections
ink, charcoal
Mallards and reflections
charcoal, ink
Mallard on top of the dam
ink, charcoal

Friday, September 8, 2017

Private Moments

ink, oil stick
charcoal, rain
Mallard and foam
ink, oil stick
Mallard on top of dam
ink, charcoal, acrylic

Saturday, September 2, 2017


The Pleasant Street Bridge has gotten a facelift this year. It's an important and old span across the Charles River a few minutes walk from my house. Many cars and trucks depend on it each day. It got new sidewalks, new asphalt deck, new utility conduits and now, the old stones themselves are being repointed. A construction crew has created a temporary dam and is pumping the water away from one of the four arches so they can work beneath in the dank, cave-like space.

The wildlife has taken it all in stride. I've seen ducks perching on top of the spare iron scaffolding that awaits near the second arch. Ducks and geese avail themselves of the line of sandbags that secures the leading edge of the cofferdam.

All the cars that zoom or creep overhead will not notice any changes. They're glad that the crews are finished up top (save for the striping and maybe another bit of asphalt) and they can get on with their commutes.

The river is low so it is jam-packed with mallards and a few dependable herons and the occasional kingfisher. I predict the usual September spate of duck drawings as Autumn asserts itself; unless we get a hurricane that is. We're supposed to get the unimpressive remains of Hurricane Harvey tonight and tomorrow. I hope the pump keeps pumping so the workers can get back to work after Labor Day.

ink, charcoal

ink, charcoal

ink, charcoal, pencil

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