Monday, March 31, 2008

Are We Done Yet?

That's a very good question being posed here by my neighbor's well schooled driving horse 'Champagne' . I took some great photos a while back during a schooling session and this one stood out as a favorite. The owner is a dedicated horsewoman who rides and drives year round and also competes in national driving competitions, placing high in many. It takes hard work and just plain guts to drive a horse..The only means of communication between horse and driver(whip), are two long thin leather reins. Maneuvering a half ton or more of fire breathing animal through a very tight cone course at break neck speed is quite a sight to watch. Patsy's horse performed beautifully this day and while she and I chatted after the workout Champagne turned her head back looking directly at us behind her blinders and asked..."Are we done yet?
This scratchboard journey is taking me somewhere..not sure where, but I'm not done yet....

Friday, March 28, 2008

Lanterns in the Window

I've had a photo of this lovely vignette for quite some time and wondered what to do with it. It was provided by an artist friend and this is one of her collections on a windowsill. Something different was called for here so I decided to try a little experiment with my new favorite sketching medium, scratchboard. In the photo which was taken in the fall, the trees and foliage are filled with autumn color and blowing in the breeze. The lanterns and bottles pressed against the window seemed to be beckoned to move with the activity outside. I let my hand go....
Many people have told me my work is anthropomorphic....this may be a more blatant example..

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Addie-Me and My Shadow

We've had the pleasure of dog sitting for this little Welsh Corgi named Addie a few times now. She may not see it as dog sitting though. She thinks it's her job to take care of us..and acts like the custodian of everything really. It comes from her powerful herding instincts and sense of order.. ..If things aren't done properly she will not approve ..and then she will give you "The look".
Kidding aside(who's kidding) Addie is a sweet and affectionate dog and a wonderful companion to her owners. If she takes a liking to you she will wrap her little front legs around your neck for a big hug.
She was visiting us when I took the photos used for this drawing. I loved the morning light coming through my kitchen window and the shadow that it cast of her on the floor. Addie always wears a striking bandanna when she travels..tres chic..
This is a 5 1/2 x 8 scratchboard.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

March- Hyde's Barn

It's been said many times..March comes in like a lion---I beg to differ... more like a vicious gang of hungry polar bears this year! Ah..but today was more like March with bright sun and gusty winds. The energy of the weather change influenced the feeling in this new scratchboard drawing that was completed this afternoon.
This big old barn is a half mile from my house and is very imposing up on a knoll facing the road. It's much longer and taller than I've depicted it here ....enormous in fact, but I changed it to suit the composition and focus more on the cupola. It's that part of the building that really interests me. It reminds me of an owl..the weathered shingles look like feathers and the missing shutter looks like one eye slightly open watching...strange but that's what I see.
I've painted a few studies of this barn and yet there is still more to say..

Feed Blitz which is my blog server has had some technical problems which they claim to have resolved. A few recent blogs haven't been sent out... so scroll down to see them..

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Friday, March 7, 2008

Light and Shadow

As promised two blogs ago, here is an older drawing on scratchboard. I drew this portrait about ten years ago and the subject of this was my beloved Tennessee Walker mare, "Shylock's Regal Queen".
I knick named her "Reggie" and she was a royal gem...spirited and exciting on the trail, eager to go somewhere..anywhere!..but gentle and very safe to work around. We had eleven years together riding the many miles of quiet roads and woods trails that criss cross our rural community. I learned so much about myself during those special times....
The light play on her face as she stood patiently on cross ties in the barn really got me here. Who knows what she thinking then..a soft faraway look in her eyes. Her left eye was partially blue which was a little disconcerting at first, but her kind spirit shown through. Queen indeed...

Tying Up

This drawing is of my friend's husband Billy O'Reilly, a Cliff Island resident who makes his living as a lobsterman. In an earlier blog about a pastel painting of him called "Chop" I talk about Billy and his life on the sea. I love this image of him and wanted to explore the different textures of the dock, his work clothes, and the rope. I used only one exacto knife and it amazes me that a simple medium such as scratchboard can say so much. All the textures came about by turning the knife at different angles sometimes making straight clean lines, other times by pulling the blade broadside and scumbling across the surface.
This is 11 x 7 and available for purchase.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Portland's West End on scratchboard

I haven't worked in black and white for quite some time and decided to pull out some scratchboard. The winter weather pattern has been merciless this year in the northeast and we are buried in mountains of the white stuff...with more on the way. The colorless scenery and a few other things have inspired me. Scratchboard is a heavy vellum paper coated with a clay/ink surface which can then be removed using various techniques and tools.You essentially work backward. The resulting images can sometimes look much like woodcut and lino block prints.
This drawing is 8 x 11 and was done freehand by using an ink pen nib and exacto knife. Usually a drawing on tracing paper with graphite on the back is placed over the top and transferred to the board. Curved lines are the most difficult to master with knives and nibs... but this medium really intrigues I'm going to start another and there are older drawings that will be posted as well..