I saw an ant

oil pastel of fir garden whole image wip

On the weekend past I took a long walk.  It was mild when we started out, but it got hot quickly as the sun rose higher.  Finally we had to rest under some trees to catch our breath in the heat.  I looked in the leaves of grass around me while I rested.  I saw a humongous ant, one of those big monster-like ants, a muscle ant.  It was gradually heading in my direction patiently traveling on flattened leaves under the grass canopy.

As ants are wont to do it took a meandering path.  I was prepared at any moment to get out of its way as it came closer to me.  But with much watching it never did get close enough for me to need to move.  It seemed as though it would, but then for some cause it turned back upon its path and went back toward the direction from which it had first appeared.

I think I am somewhat ant-like in my travels with my art.  I have several projects going at once.  I try to be more focused but it never works.  Instead I juggle many things.  It is part of my ant-nature.  That’s just the way it is.  Thus I pulled out this drawing above, something I found in the pile, only a sketch when I found it, and began reworking it.  It’s a study for a painting.  I need to resume that painting too.  I have a pile of things to finish.

I travel a meandering path, but somehow things get done.

 

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on the easel

landscape on the easel

I have been bit by the landscape bug again.  I am still working on my myriad projects — various still lifes that have appeared on this blog in recent weeks — but, you know, sometimes you just have to paint some landscape.

Here’s the block in.

the big sheet of paper

Where Fishes Swim in Clouds 42 x 51

Here’s the big drawing of kois swimming in a basin of blue Neocolor crayon.  It measures 42 x 51 inches and it’s on watercolor paper.  I mentioned in the previous post that I tested using acrylic varnish as a coating to seal the Neocolor, using a little test drawing.

Soon I have to apply that procedure to this drawing.  It’s going to be a bit of a nail biter.  Wish me luck!

crazy stuff

abstract vertical garden

Well, the embossing at the bottom gives you an idea how small this drawing is.  It’s a wild and wacky landscape, drawn quickly using Neocolors on stiff watercolor paper.  The materials are identical to what I used for a large koi drawing.  I made this drawing because I wanted to test rolling out a layer of acrylic varnish over it to seal the Neocolor.  I needed a fast trial picture.  A successful test means that I next apply the varnish to a large koi drawing, one that measures a whopping 42 x 51 inches.

It seems to have worked.

abstract vertical garden detail small

The varnish makes it harder to photograph (and I have suboptimal conditions as I write), but it seems to have created a sturdy acrylic coat and the dense pigment hasn’t prevented the acrylic from grabbing the surface.  I rubbed as much crayon as I could into the paper, leaving bits of impasto and texture deliberately so as to give the procedure a proper test.

Now I have my work cut out for me, to apply the same varnish to a humongous sheet of paper.  I’ll post that drawing next.