Sunday, September 29, 2019
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Friday, July 12, 2019
Saturday, June 29, 2019
Friday, June 14, 2019
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Saturday, May 11, 2019
Friday, April 26, 2019
Monday, April 15, 2019
Friday, March 29, 2019
The other day, I had been drawing for a while and completed a fastidious view of the willow tree on the downstream side of the bridge. So I walked across the road to the park and saw a swan patrolling the pool above the dam. Great! I'll draw that fellow. Animals have been scarce this winter and swans are nice to look at. Of course, as soon as I get out my ink and open my sketchbook, the swan has had enough and thunders upriver far away. So this picture was made from memory as the bird was getting away and landing about two hundred yards away. I like it. It's much better than if it had posed for me. But is it a drawing of a swan? Or the drawing of a memory of a swan? --Or both?
Friday, March 22, 2019
Friday, February 15, 2019
I'm getting tired of winter. I work outside with busted brushes and black ink. Fast. Get the basics down on paper and move on. Is it any good?
Sigh… my sole defense is "The Four Sages of Mt. Shang" by Soga Shôhaku.
Tuesday, February 5, 2019
It's funny how Nature is always in a state of changing state. The river fills up floods and then the water level goes back down —sooner or later. Icicles form and then they melt. Animals come and go. Artists come and go. Has anyone else been in love as much as I with this little spot?
In my heart of hearts, I have to presume, yes, someone has been as in love as I am. There's a plaque on the bridge that commemorates the particular Hunnewell family members that donated the land for the park. I guess they saw some need. Saw some promise in the enterprise and felt some love.
Love of place, in whatever form that takes, repays a debt to those who walked the ground before us. We walk on top of their bones. We plant our temporary banner in their soil and claim an inheritance that will also sift through our grasping fingers.
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Every moment is unique --of course. Yet we forget and think that Time is an arrow instead of a circle. I noticed as I was rummaging in my archive that one year ago today on January 22, 2018, I saw and sketched an eagle standing in a tree.
This singularity in my memory, was floating free of Time like a comet traveling through space. In reality, the Earth has rotated 365 times since then. I wonder where the eagle was on January 23rd? And today is very cold so I'm not sure if I'll see, let alone sketch anything outside at all!
Is Progress real? What is Progress for? Is life better now? Are Nature's cyclical renewal and human progress compatible? Well of course because, like the smallest nesting doll, we reside inside of Nature. Progress is a human philosophical and technological idea constructed on top of Life which seems to favor renewal and cycles.
It's all so confusing! What are we to do? Shoot our arrows through the circles and hope or the best? Yes, and also pay attention, be nice to each other and share our good fortune. Bonne Année my fellow astronauts.
Friday, January 18, 2019
Waterfowl has been a rare sight at the river this winter. The water is high and is flowing quickly. It's just unsafe for a duck or goose who needs rest, preen and feed. And now with colder temperatures the water is turning to ice. But all I need to do is turn my head to the sky and I notice that birds of prey have been observing me —and other more interesting animals the entire time. Mostly, I spot Red-tailed hawks up in their favorite trees. Their bulky shapes calmly perch on high, far above the din of blue jays and the morning commute into Boston.
I was surprised a few days ago however by a Cooper's Hawk which was perched on a utility pole across from the church. It was very cold and a breeze kicked up to make it more foolish to stop and draw pictures. I guess the artist won the debate (and the bird was patient) and I was able to spend a few minutes marveling at this slender, long-tailed woodland hawk. Instead of soaring up high in lazy circles, the Cooper's Hawk stays on the forest edge or near your bird feeder preying on smaller birds and mammals. Since this one was near the church, I presume he was checking out the persistent flock of pigeons that stay warm by the church's chimney.
The third drawing here is out my front door. Beyond the ubiquitous wires that help me communicate with you, is a tall dead pine tree which is commonly used by the Red tails. And you can see one up there. Sometimes there are two.
A snowstorm is headed my way today and it's time to go outside and draw before my work day begins. I wonder if there's a hawk in that big tree. Bonne journée.
(My field notes say "Sharp-shinned Hawk" but I think it was a Cooper's Hawk)