The fiddleheads poked up this weekend. I’m always glad to see them. They have such an interesting shape, but they are there for such a short time. I remembered many times sitting down to draw them, but when I went back through my sketchbooks I only found these five drawings. Perhaps I remembered the times I intended to draw them but never did. I’ll have to do better this year.
There’s a really neat looking mountain at Franconia Notch that I pass by a couple of times each year on my way to a client in Gorham. It has a bald rock face with a fringe of dark evergreens on top and hardwoods climbing up its flanks. The first time I passed by I thought to myself that I really would like to draw that mountain, so the next day on my way home I stopped. There’s a good view of it from a rest stop on the southbound side of 93 just below where the Old Man in the Mountain used to be. I parked, got out my folding chair, and drew.
That was in August, 2011. I did two pictures that first time. I started out with a colored pencil sketch, then had time to do a quick pen and ink with a sepia pen.
That October I passed by again. The hardwoods were turning and I did another colored pencil sketch.
The next year I went up in June. I had started a watercolor of the mountain so I loaded up my easel and paints and headed out early. It was a beautiful day, all the way up to North Woodstock, when it suddenly was raining and overcast. I stopped at the rest area but the clouds were so low and thick I couldn’t even see the mountain. On the way home it was no better. In October I went up again but could only stop long enough to do this quick value sketch. I’m going up again in June and I hope I’ll have the time to do some work on that watercolor.
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.