Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Last Swan photo

Seward, Alaska
charcoal on paper
12 x 16

Swan Update: The top photo may be the last picture of the single swan that remained on the pond this fall up until 2 days ago. I was getting worried about it as the ice was beginning to freeze - some days it needed breaking so the swan could get water. Luckily this has been an extremely mild fall so far, and the muskrats are doing a great job of keeping the pond open somewhere. Last week seven swans flew over the pond low, circling and calling, and still our swan didn't leave to join them, very unusual. So it really seemed like it could not fly for some reason. Four days ago I had someone from the Trumpeter Swan Society out to assess the situation, and we had decided that as soon as the ice was hard enough to walk on we would catch it and release it at Rebecca Park, where they keep the water open all winter for swans who stick around. Then yesterday it was nowhere to be seen; same today. I hope it was finally able to fly and made it to some open water, it will probably remain a mystery.

The charcoal of Seward, Alaska, was done last fall, after my birding trip there. I was looking through my work for pieces with a water-theme, I am thinking of submitting work for a show that is about water. This piece reminded me of today's weather, damp and spritzy and chilly.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New (old) easel

I just returned from a few days in Stockholm, WI, where, along with visiting the Maiden Rock Bluff SNA, I picked up my new (old) easel! (above, left). I have wanted a "real" studio easel for awhile now. I have been using my Julien Plein Air easel, made for portable use and painting outside, in my studio for over 5 years. It is a bit flimsy, (above, Julien on R) and the legs splay out, good for tripping on. My new (old) easel was given to me by my good friend and artist Barbara McIlrath, barbaramcilrath.net/. I had been looking on Craigs list for half a year or so now, and finally had the idea to ask some of my artist friends if they had or knew of an old easel that needed a good home. This beauty was given to Barbara by a teacher at one of the colleges in Minneapolis. I couldn't imagine anything better than having an old workhorse of an easel that was used by many students. Unfortunately I had to cut off almost 3 ft from the top, as my studio is tiny and the ceilings are low..... hard to do, but once done it fit right in. I did some sanding and nailing and WD40ing and it's good to go!