Friday, August 31, 2018

"At the Fair" oil 10 x 8

The August theme for Girls Just Wanna Paint theme was "edges".  Here is my take on the theme.  Each year I paint at the Marshfield Fair.  This year, I painted inside the Agricultural Hall, where the quilts and other art are displayed.  I was drawn to the doorway, through which people entered from the heat into the darker, cooler space in the Hall.  I needed to concentrate on softening the edges of the figures in the doorway, the trees against the sky, and all the outdoor shapes to keep the light consistent.  

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Day 317 "The Moon and Mars" pen & ink 5 x 5

 This has been an interesting week, as it is each summer.  The new school year is upon us, begins next week, and teachers went back for a couple of days of PD this week.  There is a lot of physical and mental energy that goes into the week.  And, the Marshfield Fair is in town.  I volunteer at the Fair and spend time there more than half of its ten days in town.  I use all the visual stimulation as a distraction and a counterpoint to all the school energy.  The other night, we arrived home after a day at school and a few hours in the glitz of the Fair to this scene.  Across the street, Mars and the moon hung together in the azure sky, the moon shyly behind a pine while Mars shone its red glow best as it could from 33.9 million miles (54.6 million kilometers) away.  Our moon is 238,900 miles from Earth.  (btw, as I typed "Earth" with a capital "E", I suddenly remembered an argument with my 3rd grade teacher who insisted the planets were NOT capitalized.  I was relatively new to this reading/writing thing, but took a stand, and was adamant that our solar system's planets were proper nouns and important enough to be capitalized.  After all, aren't they the proper names of places as in "persons, places, and things"?  He insisted, and I deferred to his authority in that moment, but not for a minute longer than 3rd grade lasted.)   
I was entranced by these two celestial bodies hanging together.  I captured it in pastel on a field of black ink in my blog for Day 316.  For today's drawing, I saw the scene as five values, and constructed them with two width black markers and line density.  Someone commented that it has and Edward Gorey quality... which brought to mind "The Gashlycrumb Tinies", an alphabet book in which each child meets a Victorian demise.   Click the link to see the Gorey video.
This is my three hundred seventeenth drawing.  Again, thank you for your continued interest.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Day 316 "Mars and the Moon" 9 x 9 pastel over ink

Tonight my daughter and I strolled about the Marshfield Fair, laughing, looking at animals, people-watching and riding the Tilt-a-Whirl, our annual tradition.  We had a joyful night.  When we got home, we looked up at the church across the street and saw this... the moon peeking through the trees, while Mars sparkled at us over the "shoulder" of the church.  
I painted an odd shaped space in black ink in this partial sketchbook page, then added pastel and the tiniest hint of the sparkling red-tinted Mars. I like the effect of the black left behind.  This is my three hundred-sixteenth daily drawing.  Thank you for your continued interest. 

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Day 314 "Quiet Harbor" 6 x 9 ink, marker, pencils

We are home from Mohegan Island, but still feeling the quiet and peace of mind.  It is hot and sticky here at home.  I long for the breeze and cool of Monhegan's climate.  So, here is a drawing of the harbor at dusk one quiet evening.  The boat in the foreground is from an Outward Bound type of outing, and sleeps a surprising number of people, sardine-style, under a tarp within its hull.  The harbor is lovely in the evening as the sun sets below Manana, and dark descends.  
This is my three hundred fourteenth daily drawing.  Thank you for your continued interest.  

Monday, August 13, 2018

Day 309 "South River" 6 x 9 pastel over ink

Our beautiful town has many gorgeous vistas, views of the South River included.  The river and its tributaries create silvery ribbons that narrow in the distance.  In this drawing, I laid down a field of black ink, and applied layers of pastel over it.  I like some of the effect.  This is my three hundred ninth daily drawing.  Thank you for your continued interest and comments. 

Day 306 "Family Lunch" ink & watercolor 6 x 9

We spent a perfect vacation day, driving to Cape Cod to visit friends visiting from New Jersey for the week.  Great to spend time with them and their exuberant 15 month old grandson.  Then we went to lunch at Marshland, a favorite spot in Sandwich.  It is a small bakery, restaurant with a serpentine counter and about six booths.  While waiting for our food, I drew the crowd in the restaurant, and later added watercolor from my memory. One detail worth mentioning is the navy blue menu I added in front of the woman in the foreground.  I chose the dark color for the opportunity to cut in and define her neck and hand, for contrast, and to grab the eye.  I enjoy sketching public scenes, and deciding where to layer up the people from front to back.  I snagged a photo at the very end, just before the children in front of me collapsed onto the floor, looking for their dropped toy.  It's a good reminder that drawing in public provides a moving target. 
This is my three hundred sixth daily drawing.  Thank you for your attention.  

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Day 308 "Heading Out" 5 x 7 ink & pencils

Each summer, we spend time in Maine.  There are many opportunities to view these picturesque, hard-working boats.  This one is no exception.  I am drawn to the cool exterior, surrounded by sky and water, contrasting with the warm interior, shielded from the sky.  This is my three hundred eighth daily drawing.  Thank you for your continued interest.

Day 305 "Big Sky" pastel over ink 6 x 9

My husband and I had a perfect vacation day, puttering around the house getting things done, doing errands, then creating a late lunch of salad with sauteed scallops... followed by a late afternoon movie "Mission Impossible - Fallout".  It was terrific, everything you hope for in a Mission Impossible movie, 
Tom Cruise running, and running some more; Simon Pegg at his best, rubber mask disguises, countdowns to destruction possibly (no spoilers here) being thwarted by the good guys, hair-raising chases on and above the ground.... just great.  We emerged to a big, powerful sky rising above the local buildings; huge cumulus clouds tinted pink and yellow.  
I painted a rectangle of black ink, then used pastel to create the sky.  I like some of the effect, but think the tower has the same visual weight as the clouds which diminishes their majesty.  I'll experiment some more.
This is my three hundred fifth daily drawing.  Thank you for your continued interest.  

Day 302 "Braintree T - Pick Up" ink & marker 6 x 9

Our daughter is living home this summer and commuting into the city via the T (that's short for the Mass Bay Transit Authority or MBTA for those not from the Boston area).  We're dropping off and picking up for these few weeks, time we enjoy in the car together.  The arrangement of pick up/drop off/cars/buses/pedestrians/parking garage egress and exit can be pretty hectic certain times of day.  Again, I don't mind, but timing is of the essence as there are very few places to stand, waiting for the sometimes-delayed commuter.  This day, I saw a bunch of cars standing along the back of the parking garage, away from the tracks and passenger discharge.  The loop in and out was pretty packed.  I attempted three times to have my circling coincide with a space emptying up front, and failing that, fell in with the "standing" crowd in the back.  Looking up, I saw this sweet scene, bounded by the signs above, the garage on the left, road and lampposts to my right, and some trees ahead, a little bit distant from this concrete conglomeration.  I had just enough time to get it into the sketch book before my passenger arrived.
This is my three hundred second daily drawing.  Thank you for taking a look.  

Day 301 "The Harbor" 8 x 5 ink & pencils

I love Monhegan Island's harbor.  Manana sparkles beyond it, providing an exciting backdrop.  With a fifteen minute walk, you can be standing in the water at Fish Beach, technically "in the harbor" or 110 feet above the harbor (according to my phone) looking down on the harbor.  It is ever present from the west side of the island and has various personalities.  The fog can lie in the harbor while the surrounding ocean is clear.  The water can sparkle like tropical aqua, or charge through as an angry gray blue. It is gorgeous and alive.  On this day, I stood with my feet in the bracing water, looking across at Manana.  The sight fills me up. 
This is my three hundred first daily drawing.  Thank you for looking.  

Day 307 "Jumpers" 8 x 10 ink & pencils

When the ferries leave Monhegan, occasionally people say goodbye until next time by jumping from the dock.  We take the Hardy boat back to New Harbor.  If there are jumpers, the ferry will pull forward, turn around; the captain will call out a countdown and the jumpers take the plunge, climb out, and we head off out of the harbor.  This year, our 27-year old friend jumped for us.  It was a bold and meaningful tribute, especially at low tide as it was last week.  Not only does the water hover in the low 60s, but the water is 12 to 15 feet below the dock.  She and another young man jumped, clambered up the ladder, then waved goodbye wrapped in their towels.  It was a lovely gesture.  
This is my three hundred seventh daily drawing.  Thank you for your continued interest in my posts.  

Day 300 "Fish Beach" 9 x 8 ink, marker, pencils

This year, there was a beautiful addition to the path to Fish Beach.  This large Japanese fish windsock.  Maybe it is there to highlight the fish market in the building by the beach.  Maybe it is hanging there because it is beautiful, as is the rest of the island.  I like the scale, liked it breaking the view of Manana, and flowing in the wind.  I did a little research and these are commonly called "Koinobori" windsocks.  
This drawing shows a pedestrian approaching the beach and the windsock.  i like the pedestrian for scale, and the  peak of Manana through the second floor door.  
This is my three hundredth daily drawing.  Thank you for your continued interest.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Day 299 "Art Auction at Trailing Yew" 9 x 12 pen & ink

Each August when we visit Monhegan Island, there is a benefit art auction on the lawn of the Trailing Yew Inn and Cottages.  The auction benefits The Monhegan Island Sustainable Community Association (MISCA).  This worthwhile organization works to help attain affordable housing for year-round Monhegan residents without interfering with conservation.  This is accomplished by buying existing island properties as they become available and selling them to residents for less than market price.  You can read more at the link above.  
The auction has silent and live items, and is always well-attended and entertaining.  There were a number of terrific art pieces this year as well as strong silent auction items.  I drew while sitting in my chair.
This is my two hundred ninety-ninth daily drawing.  Thank you for your continued attention.  

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Day 298 "Coffee Break" 12 x 9 ink & watercolor

Another beautiful day on the island, breezy, sparkling weather; sky and sea were dazzling.  I took a break in The Black Duck coffee shop for a bit, then down to the water for some lunch.  Here is the sketch I did while in the coffee shop, nice place to hang around, read, listen to a great music playlist, and relax.
This is my two hundred ninety-seventh daily drawing.  Thank you for continuing to follow along.   

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Day 297 "Ferry Due" ink, marker, pencil 6 x 9

This morning we meandered down to the dock to say good bye to a couple of our visitors.  There were several jumpers from the dock as the ferry pulled away.  It's a Monhegan traditional way to say farewell, doesn't happen every time the ferry leaves, but pretty often considering the water is about 60 degrees, and at a low-ish tide like today, it's a 15 foot drop, and then climb up the dock's ladder.  We said good bye to our friends, then hung out for a coffee, chatted with a few locals we know and watched the pick up trucks line up again for the next incoming ferry.  Everything is beautiful against the backdrop of graceful Manana island across the harbor.

This is my two hundred ninety-seventh daily drawing.  Thanks for your continued interest.  

"Incoming Tide" watercolor & ink 9 x 9

One of my favorite spots on Monhegan Island is Christmas Cove.  It is on the southern tip of the island.  You can walk past Lobster Cove, where the trail then begins to ascend along the coast.  Rather than heading up the cliff on the way to Gull and Burnt Rocks, I head away from the trail and sit out on the rocks overlooking Christmas Cove.  There is a spot where the tide comes in around both sides of a rock formation, creating a tide pool.  I love to sit in this space.  The island is behind me.  In front is only these rocks, the waves, and the sea.  I love sitting in this spot, all senses activated, surrounded by salt, the sea, and my thoughts.  
One year, as I sat and painted, two young-ish (younger than I but not young young) men walked past me to the tide pool and jumped in to swim.  One of them was obviously familiar with the spot, and had done it before.  It is a very active pool, with waves coming in from both sides, but if you catch it right, I supposed on an incoming tide so the water is slightly warmed by the recently exposed rocks, it would be refreshing.  The pool has rocks on its south side which keep the incoming tide at bay for a while.  These rocks always remind me of a book I loved as a child called "Down and Away Below" about a young boy who saved his South Pacific village when the rocks providing a barrier for their lagoon from predatory fish  broke away. 
So, this is my painting for the Girls Just Wanna Paint July theme of "anxiety".  I have not been able to visit my favorite spot on the island since 2016.  Last summer I was diagnosed with bone on bone knee arthritis and walking was very hard, let alone climbing out onto the rocks.  I could hear the wave crashing down there, and longed to sit and watch.  This summer, I have a new knee in training.  I was determined to make the walk out among my favorite rocks, and very anxious that my new knee wouldn't make the trek, or would make it and not want to climb back up the rocks and hill to the village and our rented home.  All worked out, I sat in my favorite spot, absorbed the atmosphere... and plan to get there again this week before we go.