Sunday, September 4, 2016

Preserve to see September in action

Today, the threatened hurricane having changed her mind, we had a wonderful sunny breezy day, not too hot for hiking on the Preserve and observing tiger swallowtails and silver spot skippers and dusky swallowtails and a few birds, but mid afternoon is a quiet time for birds, and there were the lovely yellow flowers that come out on the dot in early September.

A couple of huge downed trees, probably happened in the rainstorms a few weeks ago, showed interesting designs underfoot, 

The heavy rains hollowed out some roots, too, leaving great shapes, if a bit hazardous on the walking trail.

and the side of one rootbed was probably a whole world of salamanders and other animals before it was torn up.  This was about eight feet across, and must have made quite a racket when the tree came down.  

A snowy egret was out hiking, too, on the far side of the lake, too far to show you, but he took in quite a bit of territory along the lakeside on his fishing expedition.

I walked down and then up this outdoor staircase, and around here saw many butterflies zooming about.

And found a new tiny trail near the lake edge, where there's a bench in a sheltered spot that acts like a bird blind, with a path leading further around the lake toward the area where the protected wildflowers grow.

When I got home, I found these two little friends trying to open the front door.  

The one on the handle was undeterred by my opening it, just hung on and swung as it opened and closed with him still outside.  I like crickets, but the sound of one in the house is a bit tedious after the first 6,378 chirps.

I was just walking and looking and remembering, so that there's something in my head when I want to work next.  Design ideas everywhere in nature, and visual experiences in seeing trees and lake and fields as blocks of color relating to each other, not as a huge series of objects, always good to see this way.

And, browsing through the elibrary for something to download to my Kindle without a waiting list, I came by chance on a little book of notes about painting by Charles Hawthorne.  

Himself no mean painter, and clearly a gifted teacher, he was the prime mover behind making Provincetown an art hub, at the end of the nineteenth and start of the twentieth century,  and his notes say so many of the right things that I really recommend you get a look at them.

He's all about paintings being the expression of color and mass, not about a story or a set of objects, yay, I love him for this.  And how a painting is not a drawing colored in, gosh that's one of those things I often have a hard time getting across to students.  A drawing is an artwork, a painting is an artwork, the two have different aims and different effects.  Paint (and draw) what you see, not what you know..While I read I kept saying YESSSSS!  really participatory reader here, if you say good stuff like that.

The other great painter who is also a great teacher is Charles Reid, do you have to be named Charles to do this, I wonder.  Anyway, he has produced some lovely books worth your looking at, though the examples he gives are so accomplished that you might want to try Hawthorne's suggestions before looking at Reid.

1 comment:

Asha Francis said...

What lovely pictures, I think that when I get a chance I will try to sketch a few of them. I doubt they will be very good but I believe I will enjoy the exercise none the less. :) Thank you for sharing.