Thursday, August 6, 2015

Fair Weather!

A few days ago I sat frustrated in the shade of an ancient oak trying to capture the form of trees in full foliage when I noticed huge storm clouds boiling up in the east. They were gorgeous! I immediately forgot the trees, turned my paper over and tried to capture those monsters before the storm could dampen my paper or my day. That's most of it on the left. The storm blew by and next day I was out there again, pencils in hand to capture more clouds rising in a more benign blue sky.

Back when I started my first masters classes at SUNY Albany,
I used to sit out on the warm wide steps of Edward Durell Stone's "cold" campus looking north toward banks of cumulus clouds rising above the Adirondack mountains. I found I enjoyed drawing clouds then and really love it now! Here are a few from this week's plain-air drawing time.

Recent days have been a mixed bag with strong breezes and rising fair weather clouds,  everything moving across bright skies. You choose a developing cloud like these cumulus, put down a few lines and when you look up just a couple of seconds later, all is in flux!  If you think any of it is static , think again! - and look again! As you can see I didn't even begin to think about color.  For now it's enough to keep working without loosing track of the relationships of shape and tone as these "mists"  rise up, expand, then flatten out and dissipate. In the end you accumulate countless pages of sketches and a hours of pure enjoyment, - frustration blown away!

"What art offers is space, a certain breathing room for the spirit."   John Updike

"An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one."  Charles Horten Cooley

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