Jacob decided we had time to do another collaboration; so we climbed up to an area of campus where a pine forest had been planted many years ago in straight rows on a hilltop deep in the forest overlooking some of the farm fields. It was so beautifully geometric, quiet, aromatic, peaceful in there. Then we spied an art installation attached to some giant grape vines hanging from one of the trees. It had hanging bundles made of translucent fabric and pine cones and strange objects showing partly through the fabric of the bundles. A string of large pearly beads hung down near a bundle made of crochet. I loved this intervention of something wild in the very tame and orderly forest.
Then we raced out of the field and over to Greenlife for a very late lunch and a little Photoshopping while we ate, putting our work on the same canvas and giving my line sketch the golden tones and mysterious darks that it needed, giving his photograph the graphic punch that the plastic hay rolls gave to the soft and glowy barn scene.
Saturday, May 30, 2015
But the best was last: as we came out of the trail, we found a bull sitting down next to the fence in a field of cows and staring right at us, about ten feet away from the fence. He wasn't in any hurry, and we got to take many pictures of the field and do sketches up close of the bull.
Friday, May 29, 2015
We left the fabric store with many ideas and possibilities as well as samples of materials for the chuppah. For the bird Maya picked out teal blue crushed velvet as well as apricot brocade for the breast and some teal blue crocheted fabric to use as an overlay on the wings. Above is her initial drawing for the bird.
Once she had drawn the bird she decided which pattern prices we needed, based on some other creatures we have made. It took us three hours of trying things out, stitching, ripping, restitching, experimenting with unhemmed edges in places to add a feathery look, and responding to unexpected results that drove us to the final bird, which we both like very much.
Thursday, May 28, 2015
So here are the ten: from the left, two restaurant forks, a little bone fork that I bought at a Ten Thousand Villages store and that all the children in our family have enjoyed using; a lemon fork in Danish Modern sterling; a very ornate Francis I fork that P bought when he was single and had decided to buy sterling for himself instead of waiting to get married to stop eating with plastic from take-out; my grandmother's salad fork, one of a set of eight, silver-plate, early 20th century; dinner fork in Danish Modern sterling; an orphaned fork that was left at our house after a pot luck and never claimed; another orphan; our current stainless, a salad fork, very sleek and heavy and shiny.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Monday, May 25, 2015
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Saturday, May 23, 2015
We climbed up out of the valley and stood on a little overlook that is above a small pasture where a young milk cow is pastured.
Across the garden we could see the apiary, where bee hives are kept behind a fence that is surrounded by an electric fence to keep bears out.
And at the bottom right is a single stem of the hay that is currently rolled up in the big white rolls.
Back at home Jesse slept away the afternoon in his own pool of sunlight. And on the right is my African bug hat with its insect-chasing pom-poms.
Friday, May 22, 2015
This first drawing is just a mapping out of a future drawing. I like the way the page looks though.
Our first long stop was at the chicken house in the garden, where some hens were pecking around in the straw in front of the house. A little further along the trail we came to this lovely barn/shed building with what I think are some sort of aeration devices on the roof.
My favorite scene of the day: haying in the back field. The little barn is a hay barn, and the hay rolls were in the field after being rolled by a machine and awaiting being rolled with white plastic.
This is Neenah's sketch of the same field that I planned out. It was a very detailed and complex drawing and we didn't want to spend too much of our limited time on it. But there's enough information on it to finish it later.
Neenah's rendering of the chicken house and the low barn with the cupolas, not completely finished but with sufficient visual notes to complete them in a few minutes.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
My friend and student N wanted to learn how to draw a map of a walk today. We were downtown, and she doesn't live here, so all she saw was a confusion of streets that shift and spin, change names mid-stream, and end abruptly. We wanted to go to a dress shop to sketch some things in the window and to the Ethiopian restaurant to which she wanted to go eat tonight. The map starts at the top left above, goes straight down the page, then back up to the top at the number 1, ending at number 2.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
N. and I went down to the old archaeological site area for class this morning and painted in the shade of the sawmill until half-past noon. On the way down there we heard and then saw a red-winged blackbird on a post. It seemed to be a young one not quite adept at flying as it sat for a long enough
time to be drawn.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Here's Jesse, caught coming out of a great roll. It looks like he's grabbing a look at himself. Two minutes drawing.
On the left is another quick drawing, this one of the metal crane in the waiting room at the acupuncture clinic. Later this morning my student from Santa Fe arrived at my house to begin our intensive drawing and watercolor workshop. She came bearing wonderful gifts from the west: fetishes! On the right is a painting I did as a demo for her using her own fetish as a model.
Monday, May 18, 2015
And on the way back to the trail head we encountered a pretty black snake. It was about four feet long, and when I first spotted it, it was all corrugated up in tight curves, extending about halfway across the path. We stopped to watch it undulate across the rest of the path, which is slowly did, its little tongue flickering the whole time. I've never been close enough to a black snake that was holding relatively still before, AND holding a pen and sketchbook, to draw it from life.
Jesse strolled by and watched me draw until I started drawing him, whereupon he rolled over into a spectacular stretch.
Sunday, May 17, 2015
This is not high grade wc paper, and the paint tends to float around on the surface rather than sink in. Also it's so damp out here this morning that the layers can't dry; hence some interesting merging of blobs.
Saturday, May 16, 2015
Friday, May 15, 2015
I don't stare or tightly focus-- sweeping movements hold spaces in which details emerge in their own time.
Drawing is research for sure, and curiosity always nudges research along. These Egyptian walking onions are now starting to walk! Tonight I noticed them bending down to touch the ground with their curious complex tops. I can't wait to go down to the garden in the cool morning and see what the peas have done, draw the progress of the onions.
Meanwhile, drawing also helps develop my visual memory. I catch a detail and softly hold it in my mind during the second or two it takes to look down at the paper and transfer it. As I draw more and more, I am able to remember more and more. And the better I can visualize the better I can see. And one day I might even be able to draw out of my head!