my life source and sustainer is Jesus Christ

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

mt. rushmore

classic view from the original platform

Our family drove out to Colorado last spring stopping in South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore.  We made our trek in my mother's old jeep with the right front door that creaks when you try to shut it.  Packed to the gills with snacks, hiking poles, coats for the higher altitude, everything we might need-  the great American road trip.  Much has changed since I was last there as a child.  Back then there was just a small platform.  Now there is a grand entry with state flags, an amphitheater, and evening light show.  The view though is the same, four stone gentleman, clearly befuddled by their closeness to each other.  Except George, he is clear of the crowd and looking grandly out over the valley.  I'm sure he can see all the way to the badlands.  Now there is a trail along the base of the mountain.  Even though it was late when we arrived and getting dark, we wanted to walk this trail with it's startling views of their chins and nostrils.  A bib of rubble below their necks is dotted with pine trees and suddenly the scale is given.

We came back the next morning for one more view and I sat down to sketch the faces.  I've been drawing faces for a few months now for fun.  Quick sketches that sometimes catch a likeness.  Every face is the same and I have a formula I follow: begin with the nostrils, then the mouth, then trace up from the outer edge of the nostrils to the inner edge of the eyes.  After the eyes I draw the frame around the features.  The ears are always between the bottom of the nose and the eyebrows.  But as I trace around this little road map every face is different.  

For some reason I didn't draw George.  I was sketching in a rather small book and I think the paper just wasn't wide enough. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

pastel thumbnails

I like to start with tiny pastel sketches to work out color and composition and gauge how excited I am about an image before committing to a painting.  They are fun because I can do them so quickly. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

cape may, nj

Going to the beach in September has a lot of pluses- no traffic on the way there and having the place to ourselves.  The first few days of our week however were not classic beach weather, chilly, windy, rainy.  I went anyway!  With my beach chair and my book and a parka, I definitely had the place to myself:

Almost to myself, the birds were also enjoying the solitude.  Right beside me was a small flock of royal terns.  I did a little sketch when I got back to the house where the wind was not blowing:

We went on a couple guided bird walks at Cape May Point State Park. Cape May is such an amazing place to bird!  The experts there are a huge helping with the bewildering array of sandpipers and warblers.  On a walk by ourselves we spotted a bittern out fishing:

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

summer's end

We have had a really mild summer here in Virginia this year but now at last its hot.  An afterthought to summer- before it's too late- some nice thick, warm air that lingers late into the evening with locust buzz and a few dry, crunchy leaves on the ground. 

I just delivered some new work to my gallery in Richmond, Glave Kocen: