Sunday, December 27, 2009

Snow Today, Gone Tomorrow

Oddly enough the snow I painted yesterday is completely gone today. There's good and bad to this. Our yard is not as scenic. But it is a little bit easier to go out for a walk. We normally take a Christmas walk but cold and constant rain prevented that this year.

Today though we headed out to the Wissahickon. Though in a valley, where ice and snow often doesn't melt, at least 90% of the snow was gone. So we had an easy, though somewhat sloppy walk.

The great surprise was that it was warm enough to sit down on the benches at Valley Green and do some field sketching. Who would have thought we could sit comfortably and sketch Canada Geese just a week after 24 inches of snow and weather in the 20s?

As I said it was a great treat. There's always something enjoyable about working in the studio. There's greater artistic freedom, more artistic license. And I love that. But it's also nice to be outside drawing what is right in front of you.

The watercolor was done in the studio based on one of the two field sketches. It's another 15-30 minute sketch. I got a bit sloppy with the heads and lost the white markings that should be there. But I did manage to get in much of the landscape and water. That's what I intended in the drawing and it's what I tried to keep in the sketch.

There's much to be said for portraits of birds. But all in all for me, I'd prefer to show them in their environment, even if they might lose their pride of place. In any case that was the intent in these quick works.