Sunday, November 29, 2015
Saturday, November 28, 2015
Friday, November 27, 2015
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
The moonset this morning was mostly obscured by a bulky hemlock tree that grows across the street on the edge of the woods. It was somewhat overcast, but still dramatic and fun to watch while clinging to the edge of the mattress in order to get a view of this morning's moon position. Then while driving home from the lake, I saw tonight's moonrise, the full moon at last. It was mostly clouded over and looked like a poached egg in may ways, still wonderful.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Monday, November 23, 2015
Today was windy and cold, not just cool; I was curious to see how the chickens were dealing with the icy blasts. Those giant Jersey blacks were so fluffed up that they looked like turkeys. Their feathers were dancing in the wind. Other than that, it was business as usual in the chicken yard.
Sunday, November 22, 2015
Saturday, November 21, 2015
The stapler was on the desk at BookWorks, where I was working this afternoon in between drawing sections of the persimmon.
Friday, November 20, 2015
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
On the left above are two three-quarter views of people at book club, then two cups from book club, and then on the right the first of this evening's profiles-- a reproduction santo that stands on a table in our living room.
Monday, November 16, 2015
Our front yard was filled with robins this morning. An enormous flock was passing through and stopped by some invisible agreement for a feast of worms on our lawn. The most curious thing about them, which I noticed after drawing them for a few minutes, was that almost all of them were facing east. Even the few whose bodies were turned the other way would swivel their heads east every few seconds. Anybody have any idea of what that's all about? It was a sunny cool morning with a bright sun just lifting over the mountains. When they left after about fifteen minutes, they took off flying southwest and landed in trees across the street on the edge of the woods.
Sunday, November 15, 2015
Saturday, November 14, 2015
F gave us some canna rhizomes the other day. Last year we tried to overwinter our canna rhizomes and they all rotted, as did F's. So I did some YouTube research and this is what I learned: The cause of rot is usually that there is wet soil clinging to the rhizome or an adjacent one has started to rot and is touching its neighbor. To prevent rot you must remove the rhizomes from the ground and first prune away the stems or leaves as well as any black-looking part that is starting to rot.
What you have left will look something like the above--next year's buds, which can look pinkish or magenta as ours do, and some roots. The rhizome part is the underground horizontal stem along which the buds grow. Drawing 5895 has three good pink buds but also has a suspicious dark bud that may be rotten over on the left of the rhizome. I'm waiting to be sure, and if it is still black after all the dirt dries and falls off, I will cut away the rotten part. Drawing 5896 has three good buds and no rot; 5897 has three good buds but a slightly suspicious brown thing on the left end.
Step two is to let the rhizomes and their buds dry for a couple of days in a cool place that won't freeze. I'm keeping ours in a cardboard box, spread out so the things don't touch each other; I keep it on the shady back porch in the daytime but bring it inside on freezing nights. After things look dry, you brush off the dirt. The rhizomes have enough moisture inside of them for the buds to feed on during the dormant period.
Then when everything looks ready, you place them so they're not touching and lightly cover them with dry potting soil, not hay, which easily rots, and put them in a basement or crawlspace or unheated garage that will keep them cold but not frozen. You should check them every couple of months, and if they look too dry, mist the air around them but don't get them or the soil soggy.
Friday, November 13, 2015
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Payne's Grey is a hue, or mix, and not a pure pigment; hence differences between different brands are to be somewhat expected. But I was surprised at the marked differences among the five versions I have out on my drawing table right now.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
In the woods this afternoon M kindly guided me to her most recent creepy find: this little doll-like creature was stuffed in the hollow of a small tree. I didn't have time to finish the drawing, and I really needed paints to do it justice. This thing has white fluffy spider-webby hair as well as a cocoon-like bottom half. The eyes and mouth are done in primitive embroidery on stained, knitted fabric. It stares out at passersby. Must revisit!
Not far from the creature in the tree is a large incomplete primitive shelter. I drew it from inside, where long shadows streaked across the dirt and pine-needly floor. Three tree stumps were in a conversation arrangement. On the right, a back view of a random woman in a restaurant tonight. I started drawing the man with her, but just as I started, he ended the lecture he was delivering and they abruptly left.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Monday, November 9, 2015
Around 4:00 I couldn't bear being in the house another minute, so I took a soggy walk through the puddle-filled low trail down to a place where I had a fine view of the fields, which look like rice paddies today.
Sunday, November 8, 2015
All finished! These may look like copies of last night's but they're actually different. These are the four for the second copy of the book. Yesterday I also printed the backgrounds; and tomorrow I'll start working in watercolor over the prints. I also want to get back to drawing from life! M sent me a photo of an extremely strange thing that she found in the woods this weekend and gave me two very thin hints as to which trail it's on. (She told me two trails that it's not on.) Tomorrow I want to go search along the trail closest to her house, since I've been on the River Trails a lot lately and have seen nothing like this thing. Stay posted!
Saturday, November 7, 2015
Here are the four small paintings I did today that will form a part of the book I'm making about night games -- Hide and Seek, Kick the Can, Ghost in the Graveyard, Wide Games. The top two are the two halves of the first one, and the bottom two the halves of the second one. All four will be attached end to end to form a continuous band across the edges of the accordion. Hard to explain! Will post a photo when it's finished. Meanwhile, I'm happy with the way the trees came out after yesterday's practice.
Friday, November 6, 2015
I like trees but I don't like drawing them, and I really can't draw or paint them from memory without iconizing them and making them look like fly swatters or fudge sickles. Lately I've been painting lots of trees for a piece I'm working on, and I noticed today they are looking more and more like spades. So I decided to go out and sit in front of some trees and draw them with attention and care as though they were seeds or something I love to draw. My theory is that if I draw a bunch of them carefully I'll be better at painting them from memory. I stopped along the river trail to paint them in the rapidly darkening evening.