Week in the Woods (28X19)

It was a bit of a slow week in woods for Cassie & me, as rain and a busy schedule kept us grounded more than we would have liked. Still, we got a few good hikes in the cool Autumn air.

Colorful mushrooms discovered on a hike with my daughter.

We didn’t see anything as unusual as last week, but stumbled upon a few sprigs of beauty nonetheless. Continue reading “Week in the Woods (28X19)”

Drawing and Nature

Most of my drawings begin with a photograph from Nature, or even a natural object. It’s not so I can attempt to recreate objects exactly, but to provide a resource for observation and reference which grounds the artwork in reality.

A drawing of an unusual mushroom.

As you can see, the finished product is both stylized and realistic (within the limits of my ability in regard to both). I like learning how best to convey texture, contour, volume, and depth, developing my self-taught technique to serve my need.

The mushroom drawn above, as shown in a picture from life.

But I like to remain essentially faithful to the particular thing itself, discovering its structural secrets and honoring its imperfections and uniqueness.  Here is the original, which I spotted on the way in to work last week. Continue reading “Drawing and Nature”

Week in the Woods (21 X 19)

We finally got a bit of rain, the weather was cool, and skies were blue overhead. The mushrooms were out again and the leaves showed some real Fall color at last.

Richly colored leaves fallen by the trail, spotted on a hike through Raccoon Creek State Park near Pittsburgh.

My daughter & I got out into the woods as often as we could, eager to take advantage of the last weeks of long days. Continue reading “Week in the Woods (21 X 19)”

Fall Harvest

It’s always fun to pick up little gribblies from the ground when you’re out for a hike in the woods, or even just a nice walk in the neighborhood. These objects can be used for art studies, sit-arounds, and whatever you can think up. Seeking them forces you to become more engaged with your environment, and more curious. Whenever I find something I can’t identify, I always want to know what it is. And I always want to know more about the things I’m already familiar with. I usually want to draw things, or study them for one of my scenic vignettes, but the search and the study it encourages stand as rewards in their own right.

Beautiful Fall treasures collected on a walk with my daughter.

Autumn in Pittsburgh is arriving by degrees. Many maple trees have ignited in brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows, but most of the trees are only displaying their first blush of Fall color.

Continue reading “Fall Harvest”

From Forest to Page

I draw as often as I can, and almost always draw things I’ve found on my walks in Nature.

A pen drawing of honey mushrooms found on a hike in the woods with my daughter.

I embrace the progressive abstraction as I transfer real mushrooms and other small objects discovered in the course of my hiking to the page. Pens, pencils, and markers help me condense and personalize the often unassuming, ephemeral focus of my fascination. Continue reading “From Forest to Page”