Sunday, February 17, 2008

"Backyard Sketching" 2-16-08

Today I decided to sketch some tracks before we have another snow or melt. I'd prefer a melt...but I don't have any control over that! So I bundled up and after feeding the chickens, started drawing. My dog Ginger is a maniac, as I said in my sketchbook, but really smart. When she sees that I'm wearing my field bag, she goes nuts, she thinks we're going for a hike! She spun around in circles, rolled in the snow, ate some snow!...Poor thing had to be content with my company in the yard, which was probably boring to her because when I draw, I stand still. Not much fun for a hyper dog. (She's an Australian Shepherd btw)

I sketched with a permanent ink marker, (Faber Castell) so you have to be careful as it's not erasable. I drew the tracks of a little bird from under the bird feeder and what was interesting were marks left from it's wings when it took off. The snow was soft so there wasn't any detail of toes, but out front on the walkway there were great tracks. Now that I'm sketching all the time, I'm in the habit of looking around me all the time! Then before Ginger jumped all over them, I drew the bunny tracks that crossed the yard. It was really cool to imagine how I think the rabbit must have been hopping, sometimes fast and long hops? , sometimes short and looking around? This is a great time of year to study tracks, every season has it's good points, so even though it's cold, get out and find some tracks to draw!
I brought my Derwendt Inktense color pencils with me. I tried to put just a hint of shadow in the tracks to show the depression better, but it's really hard to control the value. You have to use a really light touch, not too much pencil because when you wet it, it gets very strong. Then I did the small landscape view of my field. Instead of my waterbrush, I used a regular watercolor brush and a small jar of water that's attached to my field bag strap. Besides the cold of my fingers, it went ok. I added two photos, one is the field I painted, the other is looking south with the sun behind a cloud. The sky was the most intense blue, like my painting, the photo didn't capture the intensity. Hope you enjoyed looking my day in the backyard.


Jan-Peter said...

Your relationship with Nature is so clearly very intimate and happy, quenching your thirst at the Sacred Well, where the Ancient Spirits dwell.

Mary McAndrew said...

Thank you Jan-Peter,
I imagine, that every time I leave my house, sketchbook in hand, I must be looking for a Sacred Well of sorts, wouldn't you say? Well I guess you already did! Perhaps the Ancient Spirits dwell inside me, and they show me the way?
Here's an impromptu poem for you...

"Sketching is fetching me happiness indeed,
Drawing without flawing, usually with much speed!
Painting before fainting, from hot Summers heat,
Sitting under a tree, to get off of my feet." Mary McAndrew 2-17-08
I'll leave the serious poems to you!

Jan-Peter said...

Leaving the very serious poetry to me - thanks, I'll continue to do my best at them - yours - like the impromptu one - aren't any less well-wrought or engaging, I assure you.

camulus said...

"Mary Mac lying on her back trying hard to paint another Quack!!"
Camulus 2-17-08

I think there should be an entry devoted to inspirational poetry for your painting.

Mary McAndrew said...

Ha ha, very funny Camulus! Is this an 'inspired poem?' That little poem will cross my mind the next time I see ducks flying overhead! I guess if the poems relate to my artwork, or nature hikes, then it'd be great to post them. My good friend Jan Peter is a (Dutch) poet extrordinaire and is inspired by my paintings.
I need to figure out a way to put poetry posts somehow with links...