Friday, May 30, 2008

Morning Light

This is the view out my window at Minot's Ledge cottage. I usually wake early before Alex gets up and sit in the living room and have a cup of coffee and check e-mail or draw. Normally, I'd be out running at this time but I have been resting a hip injury so I'm using this time to draw. I am growing to like this quiet time in the morning before Alex wakes up.

This was a hard image to draw and capture the feeling there because the sun streams through the window and makes the interior look very dark (which it is not). The trim is actually white with off-white walls but because the sun is so strong, the interior appears very dark grey. My favorite part of this sketch is the right hand side perhaps because it is there that I get the sense that the light is coming into the room with the shadows on the side of the window jamb and also on the mini blinds at the top of the window.

Today, we make the final move out to the lake (it's a process) so the next sketches will be quite different ...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Moving Time

I started this sketch by using a flat waterbrush and putting down some big blocks of color and then did some pen work, then more color and so on. I liked the "dialogue" between the drawing and painting. One step helped the other until I stopped. I kind of like the unfinished quality it has.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

It's Memorial Day. Alex & I went to the parade this morning. I took some pictures there thinking I might like to draw something from one of the photos but I probably won't have time. Moving & organizing this week but taking a quick break to post a couple of drawings I did last week.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My Favorite (local) Church

This is one of my favorite churches and it happens to be just a few doors down from where I live. I went down the street to sketch this church on a beautiful Sunday afternoon and found a tree under which to sit. It cradled my body perfectly as the sun warmed me. The perfect sketching place and time...

The color was added later on my computer. This is a technique I learned from fellow blogger Christina Jonsson - thank you Christina. I have a long way to go to do it as nicely as she does but it was good fun to learn and a technique I'm sure I'll make more use of in my architectural practice.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Self Portrait #1

I did this drawing of myself about a month ago as part of working through" Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain"' by Betty Edwards. I kind of expected I wasn't going to like it but I was surprised to find that I actually thought it was OK.


I have lunch at Boynton-Mckay once or twice a week. My favorite thing to have there is the chicken fajita wrap on a whole wheat tortilla -yum!

This store is across the street so it was an easy target. The scale of it is all wrong. It's much wider in real life. It bothered me at the time I was drawing it but since then I've grown to like it. Adding color is an adventure-I love that part. I'm growing to like the happy accidents that occur in drawing and painting.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My Entry

The Entry into a house is something that has always interested me. It's been said that a house without a proper entry is like a man without a head. The entry is an opportunity to give expression, to reflect who you are so that as you enter your home it somehow aligns with you and strengthens you.

And it's not just the visual either - it's the smells both as you walk up to the entry and as you walk into the house. It's what sounds you hear - birds singing, cars moving by, neighbors, water sounds. It seems rare that we ever get the opportunity to make our entries fit us.

This entry is not really "mine" but I like it. I rent this little cottage in town during the winter months. In June I'm going to move out to the lake for the Summer and Fall. The cottage is named after Minot's Ledge, a lighthouse off the coast of Massachusetts.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Village green

Lunchtime bike rides start from here. I sat here one afternoon a couple of weeks ago and sketched as the sun was going down. It got a bit nippy so I packed it in before finishing.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Jury Duty

Today I dropped Alex off at school and went on to my studio. I started up my computer and chatted with Marcel about the weekend and began to get ready for a work filled Monday. As I started up Outlook a little box popped up and said I was 30 minutes late for Jury Duty.

Damn! I forgot all about that. Begrudgingly, I packed up my stuff that I had just unpacked and headed down to Rockland to the County Courthouse. I arrived just as the jurors were being herded into the courtroom, filled out the paperwork, and took a spot among the 150 or so potential jurors.

Oh well, might as well draw, right? I felt like a court sketch artist must feel -my butt was killing me at the end of the day!

It turned at to be a good day of drawing but unfortunately I didn't get picked to sit on a jury. There were 4 Cases they selected for and they chose 12 jurors and 2 alternates for each one.

Maybe next time... serving on a jury is on my list of things to do before I die. (it's a long list...)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mothers Day without Mom

This is my mom. I drew this on New Years day of this year in room 12 at Pen Bay Hospital. I think this is the drawing that started it all. Since this drawing, I have been sketching just about every day.

I like this drawing. The nose isn't quite right, but overall I think my mom is in that drawing. It is the first time I ever drew my mom that I can recall. It's a simple drawing but it connected me to her at a time when I understood I was going to lose her.

Four years ago she was diagnosed with stage 4 endometrial cancer. She went through radiation, hormone treatments, chemotherapy and surgery. She fought to survive. She wanted to live. At 69, she was too young to die.

On December 30, I drove her to the hospital. She appeared to be having another bowel blockage. She had one back in October and they were able to get things moving again with a regimen of laxatives and enemas. This time though, nothing appeared to be working and after 3 days of trying, it become clear that the fight was over and because of the advanced state of the cancer, surgery was not really an option. It is a frustrating thing to watch your mother die because she can't go poop. In all other ways she was a very healthy woman. Except for the fact that her abdominal cavity was riddled with tumors, she was just fine...

Her body was so strong in fact, that she lived on another month on a diet of morphine solution IV fluid and little else. She died on February 4th, with our family together by her side as she finally let go.

The hardest part is getting that she is gone. I still want to call her, drop in and be with her, go out to dinner and talk about our lives.

Over the month that she was in the hospital I sketched her several times and I'm glad I did because I have those memories of being with her and really paying attention to the details of her face.

Happy Mothers Day Mom - wherever you are...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Cool 3D

Just playing around with my latest graphic software-Xara Pro4 - definitely an awesome program. I've been using Xara as my primary program for graphic design for the past couple of years and upgraded to Pro4 just a couple of days ago. Lots of new 3D tools to play with so I'm just experimenting with a couple of sketches. It's a great program for a reasonable price and that is cool 3D.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Derailleur, Bugs & Mug

I started drawing this derailleur in the morning and remembered David Macaulay's book "How things Work" - great book. I did a search on the Internet to see what he's been up to and found this interesting video where he talks about his year in Rome and shows his sketchbook -makes me want to go to Rome! I like what he says at the beginning - "I draw to better understand things".

Monday, May 5, 2008

A River runs Through it...

Marcel and I went to lunch at Boynton-McKay on Friday for his birthday. After lunch I stepped outside. The sun felt so nice and warm. I walked up the street a bit to this spot and sketched the view looking over the river with the smokestack in the distance. There was a fellow working on the building next to where I was drawing and he told me that a permit has been filed to use the smokestack as a climbing wall. That's hard to imagine that that will happen to this landmark but you never know...

Well, not too hard to imagine I suppose...

Friday, May 2, 2008

Marathon to Big Bend

Last week my brother and I rode motorcycles out to Big Bend National Park. It was an amazing trip. We left Austin on Tuesday and rode down to Kerrville, then out hwy. 39 along the sweetest stretch of road I think I've ever ridden. It was built for motorcycles - sweeping curves and nice rolling hills, no traffic... it was heavenly. On to Del Rio and up 90 to Marathon. It was a long and hot day. The last 60 miles we were riding slowly in the dark and saw lots of deer and buzzards and even a couple of warthogs along the road. We arrived in Marathon about 9PM and checked in to the Motel, then rode over to the Gage Hotel for dinner. We were too late for dinner but we got nachos from the bar and sat outside under a blanket of stars. They were the best nachos ever. Slept well that night.

The next day we packed up, had a French toast breakfast at the Gage, filled our tanks with gas ($4.10/gallon - the first time in my life I've paid that much for a gallon of gas), then headed down the highway to Big Bend. We arrived at Chisos Basin around 11AM and had lunch at the restaraunt there. I had a blackened salmon that was spicy and really good. The trail to the South Rim is about 7 miles and it is a pretty easy hike though uphill all the way and hot. Because it hasn't rained since Thanksgiving 07' it is also very dry and we were packing in all the water we would need for the camp. We left Chisos Basin at noon and arrived at the rim about 4PM. The view from the rim is epic..grand...awesome. Photos cannot convey, sketches do not interpret it well, you just have to be there. The photo my brother took of me sitting there on the edge comes the closest of all the photos we have and it just gives a small glimpse of the view. To expose the entire view somehow minimizes the feeling. There needs to be a context, a scale, a part you can see yourself in. I hung out there for awhile, sketching, photographing, looking at all the plants and flowering cactus. Then it was time to go...

Thursday, May 1, 2008