Tuesday, September 1, 2015

september begins

Yesterday was the last day of #drawingAugust, so from the moment I woke up, I was planning to head to the woods. It took 13 hours to manage it, but at last, just before evening chores, Piper and I visited a favorite place.

A path takes us near a little stream, once dammed and channeled with huge stones, and used to power a long-forgotten mill. We often come here. You've seen lots of photographs from this area, but drawing bits of it has been a new experience for me. I think if it was on my property, this very small section of a tiny stream could provide daily inspiration for a lifetime.

Welcome to yesterday's studio:

(It was a two-cushion day.)

Piper and I have been playing little games while I draw.
Can you tell the games include Very Good Treats?

(Hint: the blurry tail is a clue.)

The rocks where I made my not-quite-zero-gravity-recliner
are part of the stone-edged millstream
below the remaining stonework of the dam.

Much earlier, I drew a section of the top of the dam.
Here's that one:

But yesterday I was well downstream,
atop one steep wall of stone,
looking down into one small section of stream.

I began by drawing the stone wall,
then expanded into the midstream rocks below:

Sorry about the wonky shadows;
the light is very spotty under the canopy.

But the sun was going down behind my left shoulder,
so the lateral light got much better as time went on:

Piper and I made up a new game yesterday.
Piper learned that if I tossed a treat
all the way across the stream,
she would have to run upstream along the stones,
then cross near the dam,
then find the little treat on the vast forest floor
and gobble it up!

Piper was very, very good at this.
And she enjoyed it so much, she would then reverse her route,
come back and plop down right next to me,
and look like this:

The game allowed me to concentrate for a few minutes at a time,
and finish the sketch before we went for a walk.

But before I packed up my pen and sketchbook
and water bottle and bug spray
(and "furniture"...
gosh it feels weird carrying cushions into the woods)
I took this final snap to post on twitter:

It really has been fun.
I missed a day or two here and there,
but I think I posted 25 sketches.
Not bad for a photographer.

Although - ironically - the pictures I posted
are almost universally terrible.
I've never shared such awful snaps, ever.
Not in draft documents, not in emails.

Usually I was taking the pictures late at night,
by the bedside lamp,
and hastening to get them onto twitter.
But still.
It's very strange.
I'll have to think about the significance of this.
Now that #drawingAugust 2015 has ended,
perhaps I'll photograph the sketches properly.
Possibly I'll put them all up on a separate, single blog page,
just as a record of the experience.