This is weird, I went back to the old wordpress editor for this post because I couldn’t find the place to click to add media on the new one. I had a post made up but somehow I lost it and couldn’t get it back. This makes my 3rd try here.
I’m going to do a few sketches at Back Bay and get some sand dunes then decide which one to do a watercolor from.
This will be a short post because I’ve already worked on it too long.
charcoal and chalk
There are so many nice places to get off the main trail and sketch. The fishermen have beaten little paths all around. If you’re concerned about social distancing you can step back easily when a group of people walk past you.
I enjoyed being there so much this morning. It was sunny and windy. I had to take my hat off because I was afraid I’d lose it.
When I left there today I decided to run by Jerry’s Artarama and see if I could buy a piece of watercolor paper. The store is open but you can’t go in. People are calling in their orders or ordering online, then you can pick it up at the door or they will deliver it to you. So, I didn’t have to wait very long and the sales lady brought the paper out to me.
Modern problems require modern solutions, right?
I’d like to try to paint this scene in watercolor as my next project.
I like this one more than my sketch from yesterday. Tomorrow is going to be nice again then a couple days of rainy weather. I could find another view and do another sketch before I make up my mind which view to paint.
I hope they open VA up real soon because I thought I had a big piece of watercolor paper and all I have is smaller sketchbooks. I guess I could order the paper from somewhere but I’d rather go to the store and buy it.
Meanwhile, I could prime a canvas, maybe do it in oil paint. Which medium to use… often the first decision to make out of hundreds when planning a painting. I really need the watercolor practice.
Today I broke one of my own rules. I stepped into the tall grass to sketch. I didn’t spray with Deet first either.So far I don’t feel bug bit so maybe I got away with it today.
That guy standing out there in the sedge made me think nothing would bite me. He might be wearing waders. I couldn’t tell. I just scribbled him in before he moved.
If I paint this scene I’ll have to look at the tide tables so I can catch it at low tide so the oysters won’t be under water.
This is the view from the window at the end of the hall on the 6th floor in this hotel where I’ve taken up temporary residence. (facing South) It’s charcoal and chalk. I worked on the sketches off and on for 3 days. It was cold and windy so I ducked back into my room to warm up and then went back to it later.
I’d like to paint the scene but I don’t know how long I’ll be here. I might be able to find an apartment this week. The ones I called last week don’t have availability until May. Not that I’d feel bad about staying here a whole month, but this isn’t a residence hotel, I should move on.
I might have time to finish this in pastel. There’s a bridge I want to sketch first. The bridge scene would be great for a nocturn. It’s something I’ve always wanted to try. The lights reflecting on the water at night are real pretty.
This is the same view as seen by my camera. I don’t think the photo does it justice. I’m posting it so you can compare my naked eye perspective to the camera’s perspective. I don’t need a photo that’s half parking lot. Big yawn! haha
I must have stayed at this hotel long ago but forgot this was the one with the view I wanted to capture. I remembered it has a great location when I was faced with the prospect of being locked down. Then when I got here I said to myself, “OH YEAH!”
The bridge is out the room’s window. (facing West) I don’t have to go out at all to draw it.
The boardwalk is open. Guys are out surfing. A lot of people are out getting exercise but traffic is light.
You can find all of my cypress knee models in the photos below.
This is my latest place to hang around sketching. Look how tiny the knees are in this picture. I could never see them well enough to draw them if I had to copy a photo. Maybe if I was a better photographer…
You can see the pollen on the water but it’s not swirling so nicely any more since it rained. A slight breeze is keeping the pollen moving and changing designs all the time.
. This is the tree I drew last but it was cloudy that day. If you compare this photo to my sketch you’ll see I didn’t draw all of the sticks around the base of the tree.
I think this tree is pretty because it has Spanish moss in the branches and another kind of moss is going up the trunk.
This photo shows a knee I didn’t sketch and pollen clumping up at the water’s edge.
Next week I might go back to the botanical garden to draw. I’m missing some spring flowers. The knees will be the same all year.
This spring I have a new attitude. Every day I feel so lucky. I’m so thankful for my good health and every day I’m glad I ain’t dead yet. I used to take it all for granted. Does that mean I’m getting old or is this the new “normal”?
It seems so ironic to me that I’ve lived like a hermit for years and finally got used to it. Now, I wish I could help the society that rejected me. I can’t hurt it because there’s no one around for me to infect even if I was an unknowing carrier of a deadly virus, but I’m sure I’m not. Society rejected me. We don’t need to go into all that. That’s why I’m an artist. It’s ironic because once I took a personality test that said I’m an extrovert and here I am reclusive. I don’t see myself as an introvert or an extrovert but dead center between the two. I like people, I’m just not trying to be with them. That’s working out for me now.
ok. enough philosophizing, back to the important job of moving.
The wisteria is growing on the trees next to the end of the highway. One side of the parking lot has a few spaces where you can see it so I sat in my car to sketch this. It’s raining but I had to get out of here for a few minutes. Plus, these are my last few days here and I might not get another chance to sketch this clump of wisteria.
Now I can’t wait to get out of here. This morning there was a fire in one of the apartments undergoing renovations. The renovations are loud, then the smoke alarm will wake the dead, sirens and fire trucks.
Some guys were coming over to get a sofa I’m giving away and couldn’t get in for a little while. So now that’s gone and I have room for more boxes.
Normally I’m as cool as a cucumber but I think a little case of nerves in showing up in this sketch. Good thing I did the sketch. I got the nerves on the paper, now I can get back to packing. That’s how art therapy works for me.
If I hadn’t told you that was pollen you might not guess. I’ll try to remember to take my camera along next time I sketch there. The pollen is making some interesting designs on top of the black water.
I think the swirly shapes on still water with the tree represents uncertain times and something not being affected. (me) And nature isn’t affected either but unlike the tree, I can easily uproot myself and getthehelloutofdodge if a situation becomes intolerable. Since the crisis started my life hasn’t changed. I’m not joining the mass hysteria. I’m not afraid to go out and last night on the news they showed some surfers and the anchor talked about how getting out and getting some exercise is a great stress buster. So that was encouraging. The state parks are open and busy. They’re not talking about martial law. It’ll never happen here. And I’m not going to catch corona. Stay tuned, you’ll see.
They make spooky moody subjects. One of my good blogging friends, Nadine, who writes on Bloomwords. WordPress, told me they represent the underworld in Greek myth, which does seem appropriate. I can picture them on the river Styx. And now streams of yellow pollen are swirling in the wind on the surface of the water making it look even weirder. It’s a good day for a photographer out there too.
I imagine if I tried to walk in the swamp the fingers would grab me and might KILL me. hahahah
It was fun to draw them with pastel. I can represent the lichens better with pastel than I can with charcoal and chalk. They’re tinted light green.
I’m so thankful they’re keeping the state parks open in spite of the current Corona apocalypse. It seems like many more people than average are there walking, running and biking. If they couldn’t go there they’d be out on the street, including me. I’m not sick. They’re not sick. Why stay home? I’m not worried someone I pass on the trail will give me the virus. Sick people are staying home.
I didn’t hoard supplies or toilet paper but as soon as this is over I think I’ll start slowly stocking up for the next apocalypse.
Is social distancing driving you crazy? I’m ok. That’s the story of my life. It’s not what I’d have chosen for myself because I enjoy the company of people who like to talk. It’s just the way it worked out and it took some time to get used to. Now I feel ok with isolation. It can be liberating. My daughter isn’t too far away and I see her some times.
I’m not worried about catching Corona. I know it could kill me but I rarely ever catch a cold. Do I live a real healthy lifestyle? Nope. The thing that keeps me immune is my lack of exposure to viruses. The main thing I’m worried about is how this panic will affect the economy. That will recover too, but meanwhile a lot of people have serious problems because of it.
If isolation is getting you down the best thing you can do for yourself is go outside. Any activity you enjoy makes social distancing tolerable if you can get out in the fresh air and sunshine.
I really enjoyed sketching in the swamp today. The weather is great! It’s a good thing I got there when I did because when I left the parking lot was slam packed and cars were lined up at the gate to get in.
About the sketch : I decided to stop working on it and I didn’t do any reflections on the water. I might be able to use this sketch in a painting eventually but the reflections are a problem I don’t have to face until I actually get into the paint.
I don’t know the correct name of the tree. I looked for the plaque but didn’t see it. The chalk is the bead like tiny flowers. They’re light green but starting to turn brown.
I was feeling so lucky today to be able to go out to draw in Plein air. It’s the best therapy for me and free. Even if I’m doing a sketch that I’ll never use for a painting. Over the past 15 years or so, drawing and painting in plein air has had a cumulative effect of healing my spirit. Think of the money I saved by not going to a shrink. Then what? I’d have got a prescription for happy pills and probably got hooked on them.
I’ve also been watching the lock up shows. I watched “60 Days In” on Hulu and often thought that could have been me under different circumstances. I imagine if a person is only slightly crazy and they commit a crime and get caught then go to jail, by the time they got out they’d be crazy for real. I think that kind of stress could kill me. The next day when I go out the heavy traffic doesn’t even phase me and when I get in the zone of drawing I’m just fine.
If you want to draw in plein air you have to like people because they will talk to you. Today I saw an old couple looking at me so I said hi. The man said he thought I was a lego statue because I didn’t move. He saw me from the other side of the canal and walked over watching me the whole time and I never moved. I told him I’m sketching and he repeated that I never moved, so I laughed.
On the way home I stopped at Wegmans and bought this yummy thing. It’s a soft pretzel stuffed with crab meat. Now, I come from the land of soft pretzels (Lancaster Co. PA.) and fresh Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs, which I love to eat, but I never heard of a soft pretzel stuffed with crab meat before. Genius. It was $12. In the oven now!