Friday, July 12, 2013

Damp Cows

Today's first drawing was of a woman with a beautiful Byzantine profile.  I saw her in City Bakery at lunch.  I had only a minute or so before she finished texting and got up and left, but it was long enough to get a few lines down.

Yesterday I said I would draw effects that I saw of the great dampness and rain today.  The main thing that I saw other than the river, which is lapping at the top of the bank like a bathtub with the faucet left running, was a soggy field full of cows half-buried in the lush grass.  These cows live on the college farm adjacent to our road.  They rotate from field to field, eating the grass and fertilizing the fields.  Then when one field is sheared off they get  moved into the next field.  This week all of the fields are overgrown.  I walked through thigh-high grass to get to the edge of the field where the cows are eating.  While I drew them they moved in a group slowly like a tide.

At the top of this page the cow-tide had moved out toward the back of the field, where the river runs just beyond the tree line.  A flock of birds followed them, landing on their backs for a snack of bugs from time to time.

I passed by the garden and picked some Swiss chard for dinner.  Then I drew the haunted chicken coop at the beginning of the trail into the woods from our backyard.  This little coop has quietly and picturesquely haunted our yard since 2005 when a student asked me to babysit for a few banty hens over the summer.  She brought over a tiny homemade coop, and we set it up.  The next morning all the hens were gone, but with no signs of carnage or even struggle.  We hypothesized that a raccoon had reached in (the screen was pushed in a one bottom corner), but the hens had stayed out of its reach.  Then when the raccoon left,  the hens had escaped and lived happily ever afterwards as free-range chickens.  There was even a sighting weeks later of some banty hens in a neighboring field down by the road.  We've kept the little coop for its mysterious qualities, sort of like a garden folly.


  1. I love following along with your sketches and love the story about the hens. Now that I have been doing these for almost a month I am amazed at how many sketches I do; some good and some not so good but the image is captured. It's like a living diary and I never run out of things to sketch when I look aorund me. I see it is the same for you.

  2. Are you posting your sketches somewhere? I would love to see them. It's turning out to be so different than I imagined and so much better as a practice.

    1. You are right about it being different. I am sketching everything in sight and even though some are pretty bad I don't worry about it because I got the essence of the subject. Best of all the journey to 10,000 sketches is awesome, educaitonal, delightful and it has become a journal of my life around me.
      I am at I don't post all the sketches but just some selected ones.

  3. Love your sketches. Hope you are having a good weekend :)

  4. Thanks- still dampish, but I think I'll go out and draw some more cows in a little while.