Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Finding Forms

 
Following in a way the oldest tradition that we know of in what has become known as art, today I followed the forms and shapes of seven river rocks that have always reminded me of animals.  I added watercolor to the stones, following the shapes and teasing out the animals that seem to live in them.
 
In the ancient cave paintings in France and other places, the abstract animal forms were conjured out of the surface undulations of the walls of the caves.  It is believed that Michelangelo, too, studied the pieces of Cararra marble that he used until he could discern the figure that was in the stone before he set to work freeing it.  Freeing the form within has also been the practice of many outsider as well as indigenous artists.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Opting for the Easy

You, too, would choose lounging on the bed sketching sleeping Jesse over stomping around in the chilly rain.
 
These are getting more and more abstract--
 

 
These are hardly recognizable as a cat.  More like cat-headscapes.

Monday, May 22, 2017

In the Native Plant Garden

 
The Native Plant Garden is back in the far fields near the archaeological site.  The beds are full after our warm, wet spring.  Today I saw indigo, a yucca plant ready to bloom ( although I don't think yucca is native to this valley), a yellow raceme that I didn't recognize, and a green blossom with little anther-bearing bbs.
 
Then came the butterfly plants-- milkweed and butterfly bush along with a low-growing foxglove-like plant just coming into bloom.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Jesse Rain Watcher

 
First he stretches his considerable length out along a windowsill that gives onto aromatic bushes.
 
He makes minor adjustments.  Draping himself over sharp window framing requires subtlety.
 
He establishes a breathing rhythm that complements the patter of the rain, sleeps all afternoon.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Luxe, Calme, et Volupté

 
Every afternoon along the river trail these days the scene reminds me of Matisse's painting Luxe, Calme, et Volupté. Today I was crouched down drawing the two bamboo shoots on the right when I heard laughing and splashing.  I glanced down the bank about 40 feet away and could not stop my hand from doing gesture drawings.  
 
The bamboo looks like teepees.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Geocaching

This first sketch is a rough plan drawing of the two best palettes in my fence stockpile.  I need to modify three others to approximate these using wood from a less-good one.
 
Jacob and I went geocaching on the west river trail this afternoon.  The caches were hidden in dense woods around 30-50 feet off the trail.  The woods were full of roses, poison ivy, mayapples and other things. It was arduous going.  
 
The hint given for this one was "under the lazy threesome," and we found it under three trees that were leaning on each other.
 
Here's Jacob after finding the third cache, and next to him is the second cache in its camo medicine bottle.  A fine adventure!  Now for a scrub with poison ivy wash!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Starting the Final 200

 
Hibiscus and blue-eyed grass drawn under the noonday sun.
 
And this mysterious old santo from Guatemala that I found Sunday at an antique store out in Swannanoa.  It came from an estate sale along with four others.  I particularly like the milagro that dangles from a nail that a recent owner must have attached to the finger tips.  It stands about 12" high, carved out of wood.

Monday, May 15, 2017

In the Bread Line

 
I would rather look at bread and smell it and buy it at the bakery and carry it home than actually eat it.  One summer I was in Italy with a group of students.  We were living in an old farmhouse outside of a small village.  Every day we would walk into the village and buy beautiful loaves of Tuscan bread from the sweet bread man.  One day I opened a cabinet door in the kitchen and about eight loaves tumbled out.  It turned out that the unsalted Tuscan bread was stale by the second day and no one was eating very much of it.  But we so loved to buy the bread that we kept buying it whether we needed it or not.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

At Maria's

 
In the car on the way to our friend Maria's house I drew two of the Siberian irises we brought.
 
In Maria's yard is this colossal chestnut tree.
 
Most wonderful are these small clay figures that she made.
 
All are around 3-4" tall but seem monumental.
 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Cats and Plans

 
First up- three views of Jesse in the shade garden this morning.
 
Next, my friend L's cat Newby in his role of therapy assistant.
 
Sketch of a garden fence planter made of wooden palettes at Filo Coffee Shop.  I am gathering palettes.
 
Side view and elevation
 
Details of planter boxes.  

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Gynomorphic Trees, Leaf-Chomping Steers

 
This sweet pack of steers was standing in deep grass under the shade of some small trees and reaching up to eat the tender new leaves.
 
On the left is a view of the same steers from the trail.  On the right and below are wonderful gynomorphic trees along the west river trail.
 
And more of these girls:
 
These are growing at the water's edge.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Rhododendron Leaf Bloom

 
These leaves are unfurling right outside our bedroom window.  The interesting parallel lines are shadows from the window screen.  I was using a sunny windowsill as a copy stand.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Receipt Drawings

 
I stopped at the river trail on my way home from running errands but discovered I didn't have my sketchbook.  I did, however, have two receipts.  I really enjoy drawing on receipt paper.  It's even good for light watercolor.  Above are plants from the college's native plants garden as well as some wandering jew from the trail.
 
Then I found a yard full of young hens running around and fluffing themselves up in the chilly wind.
 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Knife Drawing Challenge

 
Today I needed to carve a bunch of very small images to use in a book.  The little olive trees are about 1/2" high each.
 
These pages are just test prints, not laid out.  I like the small cicadas better than the big ones I did a few weeks ago.
 
The back of the rusty Fiat raising a fog of dust from the road is my favorite.  253 to go, 9747 done.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Jesse , Rainy Afternoon

 
I think this new sketchbook may take me to 10,000.
 
Jesse slept for the entire afternoon, and I got inches away from his furry facial landscape.
 
He shifted and adjusted himself from time to time.

 
Occasionally rolled into a ball.