The Great Ocean Road, weathered, dead tree, Eastern coastline, Victoria, Australia – 11 x 14 Oil pastels and pencil on paper.
This drawing has weathered a little time itself - it needed to go a little beyond the ordinary, so I put out of sight for a while and just gave it a few more finishing touches today. A few marks can make all the difference.
Windswept, NC Cypress, Kitty Hawk, Outer Banks, North Carolina - 24 x 18 inches mainly Oil Pastel on paper; Pencil, Watercolor pencils used at start. Work still in progress - setting this aside to study it for a while…there are interesting parts in this drawing, but it needs something more dramatic besides the tree. A stormy sky maybe, or just crop it?
Above: click to enlarge detail images.
Cypress, Kitty Hawk, NC almost finished 24 x 18 inches, started as mixed media, now primarily oil pastels.
Comments about process: experimented with a soft blended look, tried choppy with blocks of color, scraping everything off and starting over a few times, but the nature of the windswept branches really calls for the drama of lines and contours.
Painting water over the watercolor pencils had little effect, except to weaken and warp the paper, which is already almost unworkable because of so much scraping, so this one’s almost done.
24 x 18 inches Work in progress: Sculptural, windswept cypress are common ornamentals in yards along the Outer Banks, North Carolina. This started as a pencil drawing, then felt I’d been playing it too safe lately, so added some energy and a few problems to solve with the use of oil pastels, which were mostly scraped away before continuing with watercolor pencils. Hoping to see the effects or textures created by mixing oil and water mediums.
Alain and I flew to North Carolina for three days ( a little business trip and I tagged along—he threatened to take my camera with him and I was sure I could not manage without it!) We drove around the eastern countryside between Raleigh and Washington (NC) through old, old towns (it takes a looong time for wooden doors to shred, and a looong time for conditions to be just right for vines to sprout then twirl round and round, entwined and squished between panes of glass!) …old, old farms: tobacco, cotton, peanuts.. and an interesting gas station.
There is a lot of history in NC - fossil, human/settlers and Civil War history. We stayed at Kitty Hawk (first flight – Wright bros.) and walked the shores at various places along the narrow coast of the Outer Banks. We watched the sun rise and dolphins feed - too far away for good photos, even with the telephoto. As soon as the sun rose they swam away.
Along Cape Hatteras, groups of Grackles ate ripe grass seeds, bouncing up and down on the stems, their bodies too heavy for the tall grasses.
On Pony Island a large sand crab tried to buff up and look tough, but it was quite vulnerable there out in the open; all the other crabs scurried into holes but this one stayed, trying to hide in footprints, which offered no protection if we had been birds looking for a hearty meal.
Great fun to watch the behaviour for a while. It’s clearly outlined crab-shaped shadow following it everywhere, creating a few graphic photos that are perfect resource material for drawings and paintings but do not stand alone as good photography because it was moving so fast.
Just off the 2 1/2 hr. long ferry at Swan Quarter, and sunset with a short, wide rainbow after a storm that we managed to escape and watch from the better side.
NO OLF – we were curious about this sign in many people’s yards. The following website shows a video describing how the U.S. Navy has purchased over 30,000 acres of land near the eastern North Carolina coast, planning to move their pilot training program from Virginia.
Part of the huge contraversy is that over 75 families would be forced to leave their homes, many of them farming that land for generations. The human issues are enough, but the cause and effect on the wildlife and ecology would be drastic and unrepairable. Thousands of ducks and large flocks of snowgeese that feed in the area annually would no longer have sanctuary. The large birds would also be a danger to the jets.