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march hill

By this time I’d already done a few freestyle contour drawings of landscapes, with the albeit heavily-abstracted scenes being done in one, page-filling piece, with contour details of various things drawn on top of the base drawing here and there. This one was an overlapping of many pieces with no base drawing at all, giving it a denser look. Wanted color harmony in there but had to be restrained so as to clarify and not clutter up the composition. This is the other side of the building I sketched sometime later for “side door” (see below). See if you can find the whales.

10 x 12 7/8 inches, watercolor pencil on printed copy of fountain pen original done on-site, 2019. Print is a matted, mounted, signed 600 dpi color print on white acid-free cardstock with half-inch borders, in a limited run of fifty. I only use permanent, pigment-based HP inks which meet the ISO 11798 fade-resistance standard.

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bridge and hill

Even though it was cold out, this was a fun one to do.

If it can be seen that an abstract art piece shows a feeling or thing or event well, then it’s a good piece. That’s why I wanted to do this on-site even though I knew it would be at least a bit abstract because the subject, a 118 year-old bridge in a park that was far older, looked really cool. The sun, the middle fork of Beargrass Creek going under Belknap Bridge in Big Rock Park, the many thin but very tall trees covering the tall hill behind it all, an artist would want to make this into a real trip. While it’s not impossible to realize that 118 years ago the entire area was as bald as a golf course, it still looks great now. Going out to draw is an excellent way to realize just how incredible the world is.

10 x 13 inches, watercolor pencils on a printed copy of a fountain pen original done on-site, 2019. Print is a matted, mounted, signed 600 dpi color print on white acid-free cardstock with half-inch borders, part of a limited run of fifty. I only use permanent, pigment-based HP inks which meet the ISO 11798 fade-resistance standard.

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side door

After a very abstract rendering of the opposite side of this building, I wanted to do a representational version of another aspect of it, even if just a part of it. Had a hard time deciding how to finish it until I hit upon the idea of greys and pinks so muted one seemed to almost match the other but different enough to model the building clearly.

6 5/8 x 9 7/8 inches, pen and ink, color pencils and ink wash on printed copy of pencil original done on-site, 2019. Print is a matted, mounted, signed 600 dpi color print on white acid-free cardstock with half-inch borders, part of a limited edition run of fifty. I only use permanent, pigment-based HP inks which meet the ISO 11798 standard.

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back yard

Revisited an old idea I first had back in school.

Did this improvisational rendering of a site I’d been revisiting over the past year and liked the result enough to augment it with some color later. I remember first trying this style way back in college and listening to a self-described punk-rock type trash it for being too messy during a critique session. I wish I had not taken that advice to heart as much as I did, as I think it could have led to some decent work. So I guess I’m saying don’t be afraid to take your improvisation seriously.

10 x 13 inches, watercolor pencil on printed copy of fountain pen original done on-site, 2019. Print is a matted, mounted, signed 600 dpi color print on white acid-free cardstock with half-inch borders, part of a limited run of fifty. I only use permanent, pigment-based HP ink which meets the ISO 11798 fade-resistance standard.

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beargrass creek nature preserve

Saw this view during a walk in late march and a few weeks later spent about four hours doing a fountain pen rendering. Finished it with inkwash and limited color on a printed copy a few days later. This took a lot out of me, but it was good to try and make something presentable out of such a complex subject. Reminded me a bit of drawing a large tree thirteen years ago (see “Giant Oak”). Anyway these woods were part of a preserve started in 1982, one of the few established in a semi-urban environment.

10 x 13.25 inches, ink wash and color pencils on printed copy of fountain pen original done on-site, 2019. Print is a matted, mounted, signed 600 dpi color print on white acid-free cardstock with half-inch borders; limited edition run of fifty. I only use permanent, pigment-based HP ink which meets the ISO 11798 fade-resistance standard.

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a roof near the creek

Overlapping two different times happening in the same place.

There was a large pavilion near the site of another subject (big rock) that I was working on using a fairly representational style. After finishing the big rock base drawing, I did a fast and loose rending of the pavilion. A few days later I’d done two new drawings of an imagined scene there, trying to show it both at peace and in the middle of a flood, with the overlapping linework giving the whole thing a desperate mood. Chose the second of these two to use as the base of the finished work shown here.

9.75 x 13 inches, watercolor pencil on ink original, 2019. Print is a matted, mounted, signed 600 dpi color print on white acid-free cardstock with half-inch borders, in a limited edition run of fifty. I only use permanent, pigment-based HP inks which meet the ISO 11798 fade-resistance standard.

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older tree

Done in Joe Creason Park, on land that used to be an orchard and a horse farm about seventy years ago.

Had a go at this with fountain pen with imprecise results. Tried again with pencil about a week later, getting it down in about two and a half hours. Inked the original at home using my usual 102 nib pen, but also with a 107 nib pen for extra detail. Got a pretty visceral image out of this.

10.75 x 8 inches, dipping pens with 102 and 107 HUNT nibs on printed copy of pencil original done on-site, 2019. Print is a matted, mounted, signed 600 dpi print on white acid free cardstock with half-inch borders, in a limited run of fifty. I only use permanent, pigment-based HP inks which meet the ISO 11798 fade-resistance standard.

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march trees

One of my best on-site ink drawings.

Did this from life with fountain pen in about three hours sitting at a corner outdoor table at a Sunergos cafe. Finished a few days later with modest amounts of watercolor and inkwash, since I thought the line work was good enough to be the main feature (and the leaves hadn’t come out yet). The dozen or so FB art groups I’ve been in have made it very clear to me that people tend to like color pieces a lot more than black and white ones, but I wanted to stand out and I also thought using color the way I did here clarified the drawing in a nice way.

10 x 13 inches, fountain pen, ink wash and watercolor pencil, 2019. Print is a matted, mounted, signed 600 dpi color print on white acid-free cardstock with half-inch borders, in a limited run of fifty. I only use permanent, pigment-based HP inks which meet the ISO 11798 fade-resistance standard.