it seems more like March than January ten days ago we had a foot of snow covering the world here a few days later the air was so mild in the sunshine that i could not resist picking up the rake and sweeping away the leaves where the first crocus and snowdrops always appear.
sunday it was nearly 60 degrees and meandering around the garden i spied this one, lovely earlier-than-all-the-rest snowdrop. i actually sat outside on the ground (never mind the wet bum) while drawing.
this is my second sketch of this eager snowdrop and i really enjoyed giving myself a freer hand this time around.
looking at this a few hours later i'm not as frustrated with this as i was while i was making it. with 60 pencils in the box you would think there would be one of them that was close to the real glowing pinky-magenta of the petals...but no... oh well
i love the exercise of drawing what i learn from the process
what my eyes and hands learn and the rest stop it gives me from the determined path other goals demand
however, too often i start out trying too hard to be what i'm not: a botanical illustrator.
i haven't practiced enough
to find my own...mmmm...what?...
"pencil language"? to use with flowers.
manipulating light-sensitive molecules in a personal satisfactory way in my language came much easier.
with a different temperament and/or inner history i might have had the stamina to practice enough to get that precise yet distinctive technique i so admire before i was seduced by the lens and molecules of silver and the ghosts that emerged under the amber-red light of the darkroom.
i want to spend more time drawing, sketching even the cartoony stuff. it gives back to me marvelously delicious and different surprises i love it when even one stroke of the pencil happens just right!
i love this stand of trees leafless they reveal the the wind's gentle sculpting even more but the straight-forward photographic image felt dull, lifeless so i clicked away in P-shop again (cllick on either to enlarge) and i like this "charcoal-chalk" result
and i'm afraid i really like exploring the otherworldlyness the reverse-worldlyness of the "glowing edges" filter too.
i think it is because i'm no night person. the darkness, generally makes me ill at ease, or, yes even afraid and sometimes just like when i was little i feel the urge to run from the car into the glowing embrace of home's doorway. but this "filtered" image (and the last one from a few days ago) transform the darkness put me in the middle of one of those cold, crystalline nights when a large, bright moon illumiates the landscape and the enchantment of this magical, silvery world melts all fear away and i stand there looking and looking and looking and must resist the urge to spend the night walking around the neighborhood observing this new other moon-glow world:
as i've mentioned before if i could be let loose free of the normal grown-up, responsible person's activities revolving around earning a living, etc i could be very happy spending my life cataloging skies (and yes, trees)
every time one of these evening skies appears the exuberant poet's lines come to mind
...the Holy Ghost over the bent world broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings. Gerard Manley Hopkins
i'm having so much fun delving into binders of old negatives and finally giving them light. so here's a little series of interior shots (tipping my hat to Laura and Elaine this is the closest i come to shooting interiors) of Benjamin my first cat in this home he of course is dreaming of the birdies or squirrels just outside the windows but i of course i'm thrilled by the light and the few moments he is sitting still and then ah! such luck i get a split second to capture that profile and those eyes! good ol' Benjamin best cat a person could know but then i feel that way about all of them since, too.
the woods they are one reason i made my home where i have and i could not love them more in spring summer or fall than i do winter.
i captured this image hmmmmm probably 20 years ago but had to crop it the way it is and never printed it in the darkroom because standing at this vantage point it was framed (unattractively) with the limbs of a couple of dark Norway spruces. but now via the magic of PS i can create what i was hoping to in the first place. it's why i love my film scanner and why i am so glad that i invested in it first before a digital camera. i am learning much and growing much from diving into my archives even as i explore the new. and how nice to know that if i feel compelled to photo a tree stuck in a dark frame i can work on it in the computer and i do not have to give it a hair cut!