For my 15 minute sketch today I found a beautiful old white oak down in southern Worcester County. White oak is a cool looking tree. When branches die the base of the branch keeps on growing around the dead stub, forming large bumps on the older trees
We finally had some decent weather over the past week so I’ve been spending a lot of time in the woods, making up for lost time. The temperature has been just right and there are no bugs out yet. There was still some snow in the woods in spots on Saturday, but I think today’s rain has finally vanquished the last remnants of winter. Good riddance!
I’ve been allowing myself 15 minutes for drawing during lunch. It’s a challenge to get a coherent picture in that time. They don’t always come out good, but it’s good exercise. The first below is a stone wall climbing up a small hill. The second is a pine tree that had the misfortune to be growing at a property corner. It seems to be wearing a shocked expression as it contemplates the sign nailed to its forehead and the three blazes cut into its face.
Our cat, Snowball, passed away yesterday. He had been with us for 17 years. He was the king of the house, and we miss him very much.
This is a sketch of him from last month, doing what he did best. My wife bought me a bunch of little 2.5 by 3.5 inch scratchboard cards, and I used one for this.
I took a long walk in the Millers River Wildlife Management Area the other day. It was snowing when I started, and pretty cold. Spring was nowhere to be seen. There’s still a foot of snow on the ground, but on the way out I was able to walk on top of the crusty snow. In the early afternoon I came upon a large pine snag with helter-skelter branches, so I took out my sketch pad. I started drawing at the base of the tree, but ran out of page before I was halfway up the trunk. So I started on a new page from the top and worked my way down. If you put the two together you can kind of get a view of the whole tree, though some is still missing in the middle.
As I drew the sun came out and the temperature leapt (skyrocketed?) into the high 30’s. I thought, maybe this is it, the moment when spring finally arrives, but it was short-lived, and the cloudy skies returned and the never-ending winter resumed. The brief warm-up was enough, however, to loosen up the top layer of snow, so it was a tedious walk as I sunk up to my knees every other step all the way home.
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.