Filing away my latest sketchbook, I noticed that that oldest book on the shelf was from 1970. So there’s 50 years of sketching, cartooning, and doodling, as well as some blank books waiting to be filled.
Finished making my new sketchbook. Here are some hitherto unpublished candid sketches from the old one, done before the pandemic. I’ve previously posted other sketches, watercolors, and toned paper drawings from this book and its predecessors.
I started this little sketch this gray and misty morning. I was struck by the way the goalposts showed light against the dark trees and dark against the sky. I had just been reading about this phenomenon, called “counterchange” in James Gurney’s book “Imaginative Realism” the night before, and here was a textbook case before my eyes!
I have 8 small pieces up at The Center Dance, 321 Main St. Amherst, MA, as part of the Amherst Arts Night Plus Windows into Art project.
Abandoned Fort and Mount Norwottuck from Mount Pollux: Showers Likely are in the Workshop 13 2nd annual Northeast Fine Arts Exhibition in Traditional Realism, 13 Church St., Ware, MA 01082, September 26 - October 11, 2020.
Riding on the bike path and came across this scene, both beautiful and melancholy, with the bare ruin’d choirs of dead trees white in the late afternoon light surrounded by marsh grass and lily pads in the beaver pond. I only had one page left in my sketchbook, a failed and partially scrubbed out sketch of my trusty climbing structure, so I attempted take a page from James Gurney’s book, so to speak, and build the new picture on the ruins of the old. I managed to finagle most of the original elements into the new picture except for those lines in the sky.
A little 5” x 7” oil sketch of the back porch. I love how the light blanches the screen, leaving the true color to come through in the shadows. I used the mini pochade box I put together to use with my kayak, but realized I could mount it on a regular tripod to do a small painting in a confined space. It’s not quite where I want it to be, but I think I’ll let it ripen a bit and then either work on it more or start a larger version.
Not sure what this totemic assemblage signifies, but it was a worthy challenge to depict in watercolor. I had brought along a chopped down clip board along with a tripod, and realized I could C-clamp them together to make a nifty watercolor workstation.
Day two at Cape. Work in progress - oil painting of dunes and distant houses from our porch.
1. Current state
2. Set up and ready to paint.
3. Initial sketch, tape cropping to root 2 rectangle.
4. Starting to find the dark accents.
5. Blocking in the middle values, connecting the darks.
6. Starting the sky, restating the darks.
7. Me at work
I recently had occasion to reassemble my old homemade easel, which I built back in the mid Eighties based on plans by the great painter and teacher Paul Rahilly. I had only a circular saw, a power drill, and minimal carpentry skills, but it wasn’t too hard to do. It stood me in good stead for about 20 years until I got a David Sorg.
I’m calling this done. Tentative title “Mount Norwottuck from Mount Pollux: Showers Likely” oil on linen panel 7 3/8” x 12”. I started this back in June, then put it aside for a while and returned to it last week.
With the passing years I grow less tolerant of hunching over low work surfaces. I had already raised my palette table up a bit with furniture lifters, (see second pic) but I really needed it higher. Today I built a small sub table out of odds and ends of lumber to go under the palette table, raising it to belly button height. Much more convenient and ergonomic. My DIY ventilation system can be seen on the upper left.
Took the new brushaside for a shakedown cruise on lakewarner with SketchpadL. I had done one additional mod - I turned the bolt hole into a slot so I wouldn’t have to disassemble it on the high seas. It’s much easier to drop it in and give the bolt a few turns. I found a nice motif in this old shack with its handsome stove pipe. Got as far as a basic block- in. The BrushAside worked fine, apart from being a bit bouncy.