Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bright Winter Canal

Today was a bright sunny day. One can walk in the woods now without sinking in below your feet.

Quarry Face

This may be the last quarry for a while. Back to the canal and other things.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Another in a Series

Another of the same view of the canal under again different conditions. The snow is starting to melt, and the canal ice cleared away a couple days ago. I had to get my feet wet for this one.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Looking into the Quarry

These two drawings look down into the quarry towards the entrance.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Delaware River in Winter

This is the view at the end of my street. When driving a car, one either has to turn right or left. It's a quick 8x10 sketch on Canson paper.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Woods and Brook

It's not a law firm. A view from this morning when the snow stopped briefly.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dense Woods 2

Getting a bit more expansive, but still a little dull. It's like a Wolf Kahn negative. I will try to liven it up more as we proceed along the path by the snowy woods.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dense Woods

This is another variety of a nothing pastel, a small 5x7 impression of looking into the woods, when the sky and the ground are the same color, and the trees are densely packed. I have wanted to do a series of looking into the woods. I think the woods look back.

I am not done with the canal, or the quarry, or the whatever. I just keep doing different series, like the way I read. I usually have several books going at the same time too.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Querying the Quarry

This may be an instance that the drawing beats the painting. One doesn't learn anything by not trying. This view peers into the quarry from one of the top corners. I had followed some animal tracks that went straight down the side right at the "v" in the bottom middle. The critter seems to have scrambled back up.

Friday, February 12, 2010

On the Canal after the Snow Storm

The canal is quite different right now, so I took a break from the quarry. The b&w is small, 5+x8. The pastel is 8x10. After his daily walks, Thoreau wrote in his journal. I draw and paint instead, keeping a visual journal.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Since I spent the morning moving a lot of snow around, and I am a bit worn out, I decided to do a couple of black and white drawings. The first drawing above is the preparatory drawing for yesterday's quarry edge view. I am showing it since I like it. The top two drawings show the quarry entrance from outside, and the entrance from inside.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

In the Quarry

I didn't fall in.

More Quarry

This is a little closer to the edge.

Still Quarrying

Now I will try to push more to the edge, pun intended.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Another Quarry Drawing

Previously I mentioned holes in paintings. There's depth in this image, but it goes down. It's Bob's Bibemus.


This weekend I visited a quarry in Vermont. These are 5x7 sketches in preparation for larger paintings. This quarry is a cube of limestone cut out of a hillside. I don't have details yet on when the work was done. These sketches show the view from the top, which is a bit scary if you don't like heights.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Another view of the canal from nearly the same spot, but a different day. Today, actually, or this morning early. I have always been intrigued by Kevin MacPherson's Reflections Upon a Pond series (see ). I'm doing a canal.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Snow on Frozen Canal and the Case for Art

Actually the ice is soft and mushy, not frozen. What a difference a day makes.

The following is from Karen Armstrong's book, The Case for God, which makes a case for art:
"If the historian is right about the function of the Lascaux caves, religion and art were inseparable from the very beginning. Like art, religion is an attempt to construct meaning in the face of the relentless pain and injustice of life. As meaning-seeking creatures, men and women fall very easily into despair. They have created religions and works of art to help them find value in their lives, despite all the dispiriting evidence to the contrary."

So the next time you despair about your painting, take a long view, keep on working, and see that you are doing the right thing.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Iced Canal

The water in the canal was lowered by a couple feet recently. I don't know why, but the exposed rocks on the shoreline creates a lunar edging. Then the canal has frozen over adding to the barrenness. With a bright early morning sun, just an inch over the horizon, behind your back, one sees the above.

In his book on Cezanne's composition, Erle Loran writes about "the funnel effect and the hole in the picture." Funnels and holes are endemic to canal paintings. Cezanne avoided funnels and holes by spanning "construction lines" and warm planes that pulled everything to the picture plane. I might be just "tasteless" (Loran's word) enough to not hide the funnels and holes as much. I like the front to back depth of a canal scene. A side view of the canal is not as interesting. Maybe I should publish the image upside-down. Then it wouldn't look like a frozen canal.