Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Autumn Sunrises and Honing Skills

I don't know about you  but I absolutely love getting up at the crack of dawn (well, technically just a bit before the crack of dawn) when there's a little nip in the air and heading down to the pond to catch the sunrise. If I'm really lucky there's a scattering of small cumulus clouds  just above the eastern horizon to catch the sun's first rays. (Admittedly, with our drought this year there haven't been very many mornings when the sky wasn't completely devoid of clouds. But, when they are present, the view is sublime.)

Sunrise Over Still Waters, 8x6, oils on Gessobord

 Autumn mornings are also a delightful time for long, slow walks with our Welsh collie. We both find the air invigorating and enjoy exploring for new sensory experiences (her for the olfactory type, while I seek visual). After the passage of a rather intense (and wet) cold front this weekend the foliage is taking on its fall colors and there's a good bit of foliage that's been blown to the ground. Hanna (the dog) found this Cottonwood leaf while sniffing about and I was intrigued by the gall on its stem. I drew the front and back surfaces and then dissected the gall with my pen knife (and found it filled with dozens of bright lemon yellow aphid eggs).

Cottonwood Study, 4x6, graphite and w/c on paper

I really like the tingling sensation in my nose as I inhale crisp, cool air and the way you can feel each breath right down deep in your lungs. I savor the smell of smoke from someone's early morning fire as it mingles with the chill in the air. And I take pleasure in the rustle of the breeze through the cottonwood trees (and how it sounds just like a mountain stream). I can't capture that experience in a painting or a drawing. So, I carry a pocket notebook to jot down the thoughts and experiences as they happen -- or write them directly onto the back of a sketch or panel.

Over the coming weeks I'll be working on honing my technical and perceptual skills. I'll be posting the new pieces and observational notes here. And -- just in case you're looking for one-of-a-kind holiday gift-giving ideas -- I'll also be posting the best works in the new online gallery shop on my website . 100% of all sales revenues will go to support my upcoming Zion "expedition". (So, you could purchase some one-of-a-kind artwork AND provide invaluable aid to an art adventure at the same time.) I hope you'll follow my posts here and take a look at the gallery shop too.

Thanks for dropping by. (You're always more than welcome.)


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