I had a little time and there was a tree out back I
wanted to draw, but it was only 45 degrees! I went out anyway, putting on my heaviest coat and a stocking cap, and wearing a glove on my left hand.
I’m attracted to dead or dying trees, especially white
pines, and especially those with what I call crazy architecture. This one is just off my back yard.
It was in bad shape when we moved in here 20 years ago but it lasted until the 2009 ice storm tore off its last living branches. Though its skeleton will last for many years it won’t be long until the
branches start breaking and falling and its unique shape disappears. I wanted to catch it as it was, even if it was only 45 degrees. The cold did at least inspire me to work quickly.
This was a spur of the moment thing. The bright afternoon sunlight on the newly fallen leaves in my woods was just too big a draw and I put other things aside for a couple of hours. I have been reading about the Impressionists so I decided to give it a go. I chose a close-up subject, a fallen birch log and the splash of sunlight on the surrounding leaves, and tried to keep the composition loose and the colors bright. I finished it in one sitting. It’s only 5“X 7”, but I’m pretty sure it’s the best one-shot oil painting I’ve ever done. I like it so much I think I'll put it on my home page. I'll count it as an afternoon well spent.
I took a trip to the Savannah, Georgia area last week. Did some people watching and sketching at the airports on the way down, then again on the way back.
The live oaks in the Savannah area are gorgeous, and they’re all filled with the Spanish moss hanging from their branches. This wasn’t the prettiest tree I saw, but it was in a place where I could sit for a while and it had a lot of the moss. I did one pencil sketch and then a pen and ink sketch while I enjoyed the 85 degree weather.
Some of the best work I've done isn't hanging on a wall; it's sitting in a box in my closet that's full of my old sketch books. I fill up one or two books each year. Some of the sketches end up as a basis of a more formal work, but most don't. They’re more important to me as a pictorial diary and also as on-going training; learning to really see and to understand shape, light and color.
This blog is to share my sketches as well as my sketching experiences.