I was at a meeting in the mountains in West Virginia this week. I skipped a few of the sessions to take a walk in the woods and see the sights. I found a beautiful valley with a view of the surrounding mountains and sketched it with inktense pencils on paper.
After finishing that I continued on the path into the woods and came upon a magical forest where many of the trees were growing on stilts – their roots were above ground. Usually this happens when the soil around the roots subsides for some reason, but usually it is a tree here and there, not a whole forest of them. It was an amazing sight.
It occurred to me that the stilted trees would make a good scratchboard subject so the next day I went back and started work on it. It will still need a lot of studio time to finish it but I include it here to show you what an unfinished scratchboard looks like. I spent one hour there on Monday and then four hours on Tuesday and this is how far I got. There were so many strange trees that instead of just drawing one I fit several into one picture.
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.