Saturday, March 27, 2010

Juvenile Trumpeter Swan........revisited

After my return from the artists' retreat in Florida last month, at least one reader noted that I did not post the drawing I worked on over those four days.  At the time I was somewhat discouraged with the progress I had made while there (or lack thereof) -- and so had placed it in a flat file drawer, never to see the light of day again, I supposed.

As many artists realize it is amazing what a little time, and consequently perspective, will do.  After completing the wild horse image (now the latest object of my discouragement -- all I can see is everything that is wrong with it!), I pulled the drawing of the young trumpeter swan from its drawer and gave it a good look.  Amazingly, its not nearly the failure that I recall!  So I have decided to complete it after all, in time for the exhibition "...Birds" at the Hudson Gallery in Sylvania, Ohio next month.

The photo references for this young swan were taken at the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary near Battle Creek, Michigan.  The sanctuary provides the opportunity for photographers to get very close to wild waterfowl, as well as captive raptors that have been rehabilitated from injury.  As you can see, I used the grid method to lay out the initial sketch.  It is being drawn on Strathmore 400 Bristol with Derwent Graphic pencils.

And the recently completed horses image?  The final photographs have been taken, and it has been placed in a flat file drawer all its own.........while my attitude adjusts!  I will share the final image soon, as well as the story behind the two horses depicted.

Finally, I'm happy to report that I know for a fact that Spring is here.  I know this because my wonderful 86-year-old  neighbor, Wilbur, returned from Florida several days ago.........a sure sign!  Before you know it he will be toiling in his (very large) garden daily, and leaving gifts of vegetables on my patio table.  He and his lovely wife, Doris, are tremendously good neighbors.  I am always so happy to see them return, as it means that the barn swallows and warm weather are not far behind!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Wild Horses work-in-progress: "Broken Spirit"

Here a tweak, there a tweak, everywhere a tweak-tweak.............The piece I have chosen to title "Broken Spirit" is finally nearing completion.

However briefly, it crossed my mind to write that I cannot believe how long, on-and-off, I have been working on this piece.  Then I realized that statement would simply be an untruth.  After all, how many of you have heard me assert that I am probably the slowest artist in Michigan?...........and maybe in the lower forty-eight?  (And I am faster than I used to be..........) 

Over the next week I will be continuing to lay in and blend the pale horse's coat, finish details on the dark horse, and complete the layering for the background -- then its off to have it photographed (by someone much better at photographing artwork than myself!)    This piece will be one of two that I will be submitting to the 2010 International Exhibition of the Colored Pencil Society of America, to be held near San Francisco this summer.

Also this week, I look forward to beginning a small graphite piece that will be a companion piece to the graphite barn swallow I completed a number of weeks ago.

As always, thanks so much for stopping in.