Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Various Journal Pages

I have not made a lot of progress with my holiday journal.  Oops, oh well I do have photos and will have to spend more time with it when I get home. Now I seem to be spending most of my time visiting with relatives and working on another piece of art, or using the camera. So I will just have to create the pages from my reference photos, I know not the way it is supposed to work but it will have to do for me.

I have managed to get a couple pages done. The above page is the front piece and I am rather pleased with it. The poinsettia was done with colored pencil. The lettering is no particular font just something I thought looked nice.

Above is the pen and ink drawing I made for the second page, how I got to the airport for my trip. I plan to include an airport scene but haven't drawn it yet.

The page below is from my Nature Journal, my second trip to Broadmoor in Natick made over 10 days ago.

The 2 sketches from that visit are fairly simple. The top is the seed pod of a Catalpa tree. The tree is located just outside of the sanctuary's visitor center. Typically there were still some pods hanging from the tree but there were also a few on the ground. I collected one of the pods on the ground to draw.

The second drawing is of a mill stone. The property at Broadmoor once contained a grist mill, and the mill ponds and flow-ways are an integral part of the site. The stone is to commemorate the mill and I don't believe it is an original stone. There is nothing left of the original mill structure, just the dams, spillways and ponds.

I am including a couple of photographs I made while visiting the sanctuary.

The above is a view of the Charles River with its tree lined river bank. Because of recent storms the river was outside it summer banks and running fairly high and swiftly.

By the time I was leaving the sanctuary the sun was beginning to set. The above is an eastern view of one of the ponds showing how even clouds in the east can pick up some color when the sun is setting. You can see a corner of one of the walkways in the lower left.

That is it for today. Hope everyone is enjoying their winter solstice holidays, per usual comments are welcome.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

More Bags, a Journal Page and Figure Drawing

I have been traveling, and visiting with family so am a bit late with this blog update. Before I left on my travels I purchased a Christmas gift for myself, a new lens for my Camera. It is a 55mm to 250mm lens and I am hoping to make better photographs of birds and butterflies with it once I get used to it.

The only thing was, the new lens won't fit in my current camera bag with the camera and its old lens. There were a couple of options, I could purchase a larger camera bag that would hold both lenses and camera and other stuff (cables, manuals etc) or I could make a separate bag to carry the lens. Since I don't really want to haul around a larger camera bag I decided to make a small bag that would hold just the lens. One that I could easily wear while out and about in the areas I go to photograph. So I pulled out some fabrics, my rotary cutter, the cutting mat and started cutting.

The bag in the above image is the end result. Just large enough to hold the new or old lens, with a long enough strap so it can easily be carried while I am out walking so I can swap out lenses if I need/want to. There is batting between the inner lining and the outer fabric to protect the lens. I also placed the seams on the outside to keep lint/loose threads away from the lens. I didn't use a pattern but sort of made it up as I went along. The strap is braided fabric strips.

I think it is pretty and functional, and actually used it on my walk in Daniel Webster this past monday. It worked very well and is light enough to not be a burden.

Below is a page out of the Nature Journal from over a week ago.

This was also a visit to Daniel Webster but was a week ago Monday. Weather was chilly, with a slight film of ice around some of the edges of the ponds. The image is of a goose taking off from the pond. Looked like it was walking on water in the photo so I couldn't resist using it for my page image for the day.

Below is my figure drawing from this past Monday evening.

It was a good session with a few non-regular artists dropping in to draw. I was feeling a bit distracted that evening, what with my mind wanting to think about the things I had to get done prior to my leaving on my trip. So I am not sure the drawing is as successful as it could have been, still all things considered I am not displeased with the results.

Below are a couple of photographs I made at Daniel Webster over a week ago.

Blue sky with one of the marsh plants seed heads against it.

The photo above is the one I used as reference for my page drawing. You can see how stark everything has gotten now that winter is finally settling in. Birds in flight are poetry in motion no question. These Canada Geese taking off from the pond are certainly that.

That is it for today. Per usual comments are always welcome.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Bagging Christmas, and start of a new Drawing

I have started the above pen and ink work in the past couple of days. The elaborate border was drawn first in one of my sketch pads and I am using tracing paper to transfer it to my good paper. I am using gray Stonehenge for this and will be using stipple in the background of the border. Not sure what I am going to put in the middle yet. I think some flowers and have been searching my photographs for the right reference image.

Needless to say this part of the work is finicky and find myself able to spend just so much time on it before I want/need to work on something else.

With the Christmas season approaching (rapidly) I have been spending a fair amount of time on preparing gifts for my family. Last year I decided to bag my gifts instead of using wrapping paper and I am continuing the tradition this year. The bags are made out of Christmas fabric which I think has prettier designs than wrapping paper does and can be reused instead of thrown out. They are simple to make, a couple of side/bottom seams a turn over at the top to make a pocket that a ribbon can be threaded through (leave a gap near the top of one of the side seams, so that when it is folded over inside there is an opening to the pocket on the outside). I think it takes me longer to iron and trim the fabrics for the bags than it does for me to sew the seams. Anyway in the top photo above you can see my pile of made bags with some of the gifts to be "bagged".

The middle photo is of one of the bags, you can see the ribbon used to close the opening trailing across the bag.

Bottom photo shows all of the gifts bagged and ready to be boxed up and mail off. I designed the name tags last year. Those I print off on fairly heavy weight paper, cut apart, punch a hole in the corner, add names and attach to the proper bag, and call it done. Hmm, maybe I should think about purchasing several yards of Christmas fabrics and selling the bags in my Esty shop next year. I suppose I could also design some tags that could go with them.

Below is a page from my Nature Journal from a trip over the Weekend to Blue Hills Reservation.

The images are of a dried seed head of a late blooming goldenrod. As I have said before this kind of material isn't going to survive the winter, and I have always thought that dried grasses and seed heads were visually interesting so will continue to include them as long as it is available.

The bottom drawing is of a Screech Owl. It was chilly the day I was in the animal exhibit area at Trailside Museum and not much in the way of animal life was visible or active so I decided to go into the museum. The Naturalist was there holding this small owl. I asked if I could make a couple of photos and I used one as the reference for the above drawing.  They think this is a female, but even so she is a small bird with brownish coloring. They are night hunters of mice, moths and other small creatures. They do have ear tufts though this one wasn't really displaying them. It certainly looks cute, but they really don't make good pets.

Last image today is a photograph I made at Houghton's Pond showing some skim ice on the pond. After our very warm fall the temps are finally falling to more seasonable weather. The Sunday I was in the park I saw this ice along the southern edges of the pond. The shadows from trees and bushes growing at the ponds edge prevent the sun from shining on these areas so even though it was after noon and the sun had been shining all day and the air temp was in the 40's these areas of ice remained.

Enough for today. Per usual comments are appreciated.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Finished Sketches and a Figure Drawing

My top two images today are the finished drawings done from the Thanksgiving Day sketch. The one above is only pen and ink on Bristol Board, the one below was done on Hot Press Watercolor paper and is colored pencil. The top image is larger 9.0 x 12.0 inches. The colored pencil piece is only 7.0 x 9.0 inches.

I prefer the pen and ink piece, I find it more visually interesting even though it doesn't have color. The blocks of color in the colored pencil piece bother me a bit, but I am not sure how to apply the color so that it is more interesting yet not muddied or too busy.

Sorry for the image quality on these, I photographed them both and I should have set up the tripod and checked angles, neither photo is entirely square as it should be. Both pieces are just a bit too large for my scanner.

Below is my figure drawing from last night.

We had a more upright pose last night, different from what we usually have. Lighting was also different as she was lit from above. It looks like a deceptively simple pose, though it wasn't entirely easy to draw.

Below is a page from a visit I made last week to Borderland State Park.

The drawings are fairly simple, the top one is the tip of a branch of Northern White Cedar including some of the pine cones. These trees were growing around the old farm house that is on the property and aren't something I often see in the woods I visit. More typically I see Eastern Red Cedar, I am saving that drawing for a later date. In the center of the page I did a close up sketch of one of the pine cones as they are really very simple compared to most pines and I didn't feel the top sketch really depicted that.

Bottom drawing is a tree stump that was covered with shelf mushrooms. They may not be doing any growing at this time of year, but they are still viable. Since my available subject matter has been reduced I will draw anything that strikes my fancy, expect to see more tree trunks before spring arrives.

I made the above photo at Borderland and is of one of the ponds, there is a small grouping of mallard ducks in the center of the pond. I think they were all females and spent most of their time feeding. I selected this photo because of the light/shadows and the colors of the clouds. The photo was actually made in the middle of the afternoon, but with the nearness of the winter solstice, daylight is short this time of year and the sun was already getting low in the western sky.

That is it for today. Hope everyone is enjoying good health and getting ready for the up coming Holidays. Per usual comments are welcome.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Making my own Journal

I have only been doing a little drawing these past few days. Mainly I have been focused on putting together a blank Journal to take with me to Chicago this year. The idea is that I will do sketches/drawings to document this holiday with my family. Last year I was working on the Sketchbook Project and I thought it would good to have another similar project for this year, just not as many pages.

The idea is also an out growth of the Sketchbook Challenge I have been following. Over the past year I have been introduced to many artists who journal their vacations. So I thought why not. I didn't want a book with a lot of pages (the Sketchbook Project uses Moleskin and they are larger than I wanted to use) so my next option was to make my own.

I have done some binding, notably for my Portfolio Resume. The type of binding I used for that can be used to make larger booklets/books (Coptic binding). So I purchased some fairly heavy weight paper and cut it to a size I wanted to use. Found some heavy cardboard to cut for covers and proceed to poke holes.

The image above basically shows some of the steps I went through to create the book.

Top image is the cover design I finally came up with after a lot of thought. It is based on a photograph I made several years ago along the edge of Lake Michigan looking toward downtown Chicago.

Second is a photo of the 3 prepared "signatures" with the top and bottom covers.

The next image skips the assembly step of attaching the signatures to the top and back covers. You can visit the web page I used for instruction here. This image shows the assembled book after I had applied a coating of Liquitex Gloss Gel to both the front and back covers to protect the paper.

The last image shows the step of gluing the first and last pages to the covers, I suppose this isn't necessary but it does attach the covers a bit more securely.

The image at the top of the blog is the finished Journal ready for me to use size is 7.5 x 9 inches.

I am fairly pleased with how this came out though I do have a couple of issues with it. The lettering on the cover could have been better and while you can't see it one of the signatures isn't in line with the others, getting that right will take a bit more practice I think.

Below is my Nature Journal page from Monday's visit to Daniel Webster.

Top image is just a small branch of a European White Birch. The birches over at Daniel Webster seemed to be a bit confused about what season we are in and are starting to send out these flower catkins. They aren't blooming, and as the weather has turned much more seasonable in the last couple of days they probably won't, as for what will happen to them come real spring I have no clue but will be watching.

The bottom two sketches are of a couple of split seed pods I found in the grass near the Visitor Entry building. I don't know what they come from, nothing around the building. But I have a feeling the source isn't that far away either. I just liked the shapes and thought I would draw them.

Below is a photograph I made Monday.

It shows bare branches against a blue sky with a few scattered clouds and a half moon rising in the sky. The moon was really visible that afternoon so I thought it would make a good subject.

That is it for today. Per usual comments are welcome.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

An Update, Nature Journals, and a Man

I will say immediately that this isn't done. Not quite sure where I am going next, but I will be going somewhere. This is the Pen and ink version of my sketch from Thanksgiving with a lot more ink added. So far I am pleased with how it is coming along. One of the next steps I am contemplating is adding some color, but you will just have to wait and see.

Below I have a couple of Nature Journal pages, I have done a few more out and about trips than I have posted to the blog so I am getting a bit behind image wise. Today I thought I would do some catch up.

This was done during a visit to Daniel Webster in Marshfield, MA., Monday Nov. 28th.

The above sketches are top: a dried seed head from a Queen Ann Lace flower. I think they actually look quite pretty and they certainly won't survive the winter so I took the opportunity to draw one now while they are still to be found.

The bottom sketch is of a nest I saw in some bushes. The fallen leaves have left just the stems and branches of trees and bushes. Allowing the once hidden nests of squirrels and birds to be revealed. This nest was small and seemed to be made mostly of twigs.

Below are some drawings from a first time visit to Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, another MA Audubon site on December 1st.

Broadmoor is located in Natick, MA. not that far from my usual stomping grounds so I am not sure why I haven't visited before. Anyway now that I have been this once I will be going back. The site includes fresh water ponds/marshes, wooded areas, fields and a section of the Charles River. They have quite a few walkways that extend into the ponds for easier viewing of birds and other wildlife. For some reason I actually forgot my camera so there aren't any photo's from this visit.

Drawings are top: a structure I saw in a wooded area, I have to wonder if the sanctuary doesn't host a boy or girl scout troop and this is something they were building, with a bit more branches it would make an excellent shelter.

The bottom two drawings aren't all that impressive, the one on the left is half of a hickory nut that I found on one of the paths. The actual tree (shag bark hickory) was a good quarter of a mile away standing alone in a field next to a stone wall. It is a very large old tree, I am sure the farmer who once owned the land considered it a valuable resource.

The drawing on the right is a grouping of white pine needles. White pine needles usually come in groups of 5 though sometimes in groups of three, and are approximately 3 inches long. I drew a white pine pinecone as one of my early images in the book and thought I should show the needles.

Below is last nights figure drawing.

Yup, that is a guy not a girl. We were supposed to have a male/female pair last night, but the woman caught the flu so we only had the man. Actually I didn't mind, I wasn't sure if I was up to drawing two figures, and having one male suited me just fine. We so rarely get male models that I really enjoyed the change. Not sure how the painters feel about it, but I wish we could have more men. Oddly enough I am finding that lovely young women get a bit boring after a while.

Above is a photo from last weeks visit to Daniel Webster. It would have been nice to have one more goose in the photo, but one has to take what nature provides.  OK I know I could Photoshop in a 5th goose, but I don't like to do that, so this is what it is. Still I really like the shapes against that gray sky. By the way the geese are flying from right to left. Hmm maybe I should check my Roman History, I think flying geese were considered some sort of omen to the Romans, hopefully a good one.

That is it for today, per usual comments are appreciated.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Developing a Sketch

On Thanksgiving (last Thursday) I started the above sketch in my sketchbook. It isn't wonderful, but I thought it had possibilities so earlier this week I transferred the drawing (using tracing paper) to a couple of sheets of better paper so I could investigate those possibilities.

The above version I am doing using just pen and ink (at the moment) and it isn't very far along. I haven't really done enough with it for me to decide one way or another how I feel about it. But I also am not at a point where I would tear it up and work on something else.

This one is being done on Velum Bristol board, a smooth white paper, that until I started using Stonehenge and Hot Press Watercolor paper was my favorite paper to use.

Above is the colored pencil version I am working on. It is a bit further along than the ink version is, not surprising as I started it first. With this I am feeling that something is not quite how I want it to be, but haven't quite put my finger on what is wrong. Well maybe wrong isn't the right term, but about the best one I can think of at the moment. I think it needs more complexity, but have to figure out just how I want to introduce it. If you have a suggestion I would love to hear it.

Below is a Journal page done last Saturday with an image from my visit to the Blue Hills Reservation.

It was a warm day (upper 60's) and there were hordes of people out enjoying it at the Trailside Museum parking lots. I think most of them were actually climbing Great Blue Hill, but there were plenty wandering around the Museum and grounds.

The drawing is actually from a photograph I made in the Houghton Pond area. The man had been walking his dog and both of them were playing with a white ball that was almost as large as the dog. The dog would sort of push it around and the man would kick it for the dog to chase. Both seemed to be having a good time.

As I recall the round object in the man's hand was one of those leashes that automatically unroll and then contract depending on how close or far the dog gets from the owner. I see a fair number of these when I am in the State Parks (they allow dogs) and it certainly has to be easier for the owner since the dog can run a fair distance and explore all without tangling a leash on the ground or around some trees or bushes.

Below is a Photo I made at Houghton's Pond:

This is just a photo of the pond showing the reflections of the trees and sky on the surface. Amazing how the sky looks bluer in the pond then it does in the real sky. As you can tell there wasn't much wind so the surface of the pond was a perfect mirror.

That is it for today. Per usual comments and or suggestions are welcome.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Sheep, a Figure and a Nature Journal

A friend saw my sheep sketch from a couple months ago and asked if she could acquire it. I replied that the sketch in question was just a sketch, not very large, not on good paper and that I would be happy to redraw the sheep for her, larger and on better paper. The above image is my finished sheep. I don't think I need to add that I am quite pleased with it. The sheep looks woolly as all good unshorn sheep should in late May, which is when my reference photograph was made

We are having very warm weather for November (60's), so last Friday I decided to take advantage of it and pay another visit to one of my sea side Parks. In this case I chose Ellisville Harbor State Park in Plymouth, MA. Below is my journal page from that visit.

Not much in the way of drawings. On my way down to the beach I noticed some bushes with leaves and seed pods on them. I picked a small branch from a bush and location where it should not show and proceeded to draw it. I wasn't thrilled with the first drawing (top) so changing my view slightly I drew it a second time.

I am fairly sure that the bush is a Japanese Andromeda. In the spring it will have waxy bell shaped flowers on a stalk. These are one of our earliest spring flowering shrubs, they will bloom even before the forsythia. I have of course no clue how these bushes got into the park. But the land was only fairly recently made a park so the bushes were probably planted by the former property owners.

Next two drawings are of 2 shells I picked up on the beach. The one on the left was so worn that all that is left is the white inner shell. The one on the right while a bit worn still has its brown striations. Both are sea snail shells. Since the tide was out during my visit I found several snail shells that were still occupied by their owners. Needless to say I did not bring those home.

Below is my figure drawing from last night:

Without the promptings of last weeks attendee last nights setting was far less complex. Well excepting for the fabric that is draped over the couch.

In a way it is not entirely fair of me to draw only with graphite. Scott changes the colors of the background fabrics from week to week and I can only suggest those changes by value differences. Last nights colors were a grayish blue with splashes of yellow orange. The piece of fabric by her right arm is black velvet.  It adds interest to the colored paintings that the other attending artists make. Without color I can only suggest that different fabrics are layered on the couch by using different values for each area. Anyway here is last nights effort, not too bad if I do say so myself. The model was pleased with it.

Below are a couple of photographs that I made last week at Ellisville Harbor.

The waves, wind and rain can do a number on the beaches and bluffs overlooking them. Tides have been high this year and between tides and rain the bluffs are being eroded. I am not sure how many more storms this tree will survive, the land under it has already been mostly worn away. I doubt this tree will be there come spring. Beyond it you can see the beach with its exposed rocks since the tide was almost at its lowest.

Above is another beach view, this section of the beach has more sand, and you can tell the visiting dog was enjoying his dip in the ocean. I have to wonder if the owners have to rinse it off when they get home. The land in the distance is Cape Cod.

That is it for today. Per usual non-spam comments are welcome.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Alternatives

It is the day after Thanksgiving here in the USA, a day known as Black Friday. Because today is the day that retailers hope to start making their profits for the year off of all the Christmas shoppers who flock to the stores for the Black Friday deals. I am not one of the shoppers. I in fact am going to head out to one of the State Parks a bit later hoping to spend some time with my camera and Journal.

I drew the above glass yesterday while I was celebrating Thanksgiving with friends. A glass of wine (or two) with good food and friends is an enjoyable way to spend a day, esp. a holliday. Course I did overeat a bit (and now probably shouldn't eat for a week) but otherwise had a great day.

Above are some sketches I also made yesterday, not really portraits of my friends (not accurate enough) but as quick gesture type drawings they aren't bad.

Below is my Nature Journal Pages from last Monday's visit to Daniel Webster.

Monday was more seasonable weather wise then it has been (cooler), and it was the first time that I didn't see any turtles out sunning themselves on either rocks or the logs in the pond. I have a feeling they are gone now until next spring, having buried themselves into the pond mud to spend the winter sleeping.

Sketches are a bit strange today, I didn't draw the tree stump as I didn't think there was any change in water level between my visits.  Instead the top drawing is of some dried leaves and fruit/berries I found attached to a broken off branch. Not sure of the species I think a form of Cherry.

The bottom drawing is of a sight I saw on one of the wooden walkways. A dead mouse next to some droppings that some largish animal left. Probably not a dog, visitors are not allowed to bring dogs into the sanctuary. Besides it didn't look like dog droppings, and I have seen lots of those over the years. Maybe a deer or a fox left it, though I didn't see either on Monday.

I have never actually seen a dead animal before on my visits to any of sanctuaries (well dead seagulls down on the Cape, and the remains of a squirrel hanging in a tree) so find it very strange that I saw this one. How did this dead mouse get there? I would think that any predator who had killed it wouldn't have just left it for me to find. I didn't pick it up to examine it, but I didn't see any blood. So did it just die on the walkway or did it get dropped and left by an owl, hawk or fox? Obviously I will never know, and while I know it is a bit strange for me to have used it as a drawing subject, it was so out of the ordinary that I just couldn't ignore it. My journal is to document nature, and sometimes nature isn't very nice.

Below a couple of photos from my visit.

Above is a view through the leafless trees of one of the raised walkways at Daniel Webster. In one area there is an extensive stand of European White Birch and this is a photo of part of that area. Since the ground underneath the walkway can get very damp and sometimes be covered with pools of water they wisely decided to install the raised walkways. It keeps the ground from being turned to mud, and also keeps the visitors on the paths, safer for the animals/birds, esp. in the spring.

This photo was made from the parking area at Daniel Webster. You can see a largish flock of Canada Geese feeding on the grass, and part of the fence that circles the area. That large shadow toward the center of the photo is from a vehicle barn/shed they have on the property. There is a small group of structures in that area, probably left from when this land was a working farm.

Enough for today, per usual comments are always appreciated.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

EDM #24 with Journal Pages and a Figure

When I am not quite sure what to draw or need a quick drawing because I have been busy with other projects that aren't quite ready to be shown I fall back on the Every Day Matters list of Challenge's. It has gotten to be quite long so I can go through it and select something that I feel in the mood to draw with little difficulty. The other day I selected #24 Draw a piece of fruit. I happen to have an apple on hand so it became my subject.

Not too bad for something done fairly quickly. Still it was a bit of a challenge to suggest the striations on the apple along with the shadows. That white oval is the store sticker identifying the apple type, bar-code and source.

Below is another Nature Journal Page, this one from a visit to Borderland State Park last Friday.

I expect these will be my last leaf images until next spring. Well I may do some evergreen leaves but there aren't that many evergreen plants in my local woods so there won't be many.

I am not sure what the top leaf is, there were several trees that it could be, but in the end I couldn't make a positive identification so I will leave it as a mystery for now and hopefully next spring I will be able to figure it out.

The middle leaf is from a Norway Maple. The leaves turn yellow in the fall and can hang on a bit later than the Sugar Maples do. It does look a lot like a Sugar Maple leaf, but there are some differences that make it possible to identify the species. The Norway Maple is not native to the US so trees found in the woods are volunteers from plantings around homes.

The bottom sketch is of a small dog I photographed while on my walk. I have sketched in just the hint of feet and pants of the owner in the background. The dog was wearing some sort of sweater as the day was a bit chilly. I expect I will be including a lot more people and dog images in the Journal, it is that or just landscapes as winter sends wild animals away or into hibernation.

Below is my figure drawing from last night.

Does the setting for the model look different? It certainly ought to. Last night one of the women who sometimes models for us came to draw and she asked Scott if we couldn't have a more complex setting, so they set up a still life to act as a background for the model.

Yikes, I admit that all the visual distraction gave me a bit of a problem early on, esp getting the angle of the body/head correct in relationship to the cart and other materials in the center of the image. In the end I did leave things out and others I only hinted at. Otherwise the result is more successful then I expected at the first break.

The lighting source is also different, usually it is from a low source and last night it was shinning down on her. A lot is very sketchily done, but I think there is just enough detail to give the viewer something to look at.

Below are a couple of photographs from my visit to Borderland.

A leaf falling onto the surface of one of the ponds. I am not sure I have the crop right. I did play with it a bit before selecting this image. I wanted some context for the leaf, not just leaf and water. A narrower crop just didn't feel right.

This is just a photograph of the path I was walking. Totally covered with fallen leaves, and showing the shadows of the tree trunks on the path. But this view won't last, people walking will break up the leaves, the wind and rain will move them off the path, so this photo has like many captured just a moment in time.

That is it for today. Hope you enjoy reading my blog, and per usual comments are always appreciated.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Some Pencil Play

Sometimes I like to take my sketchbook, start drawing a doodle (more or less) and see what happens. Usually they don't go anywhere but sometimes I develop them into something that I like and want to explore further. The above pencil drawing is one of those. Using tracing paper I transferred the major shapes to a piece of cream Stonehenge paper. The images felt like they should be in browns so pulling almost all of my brown colored pencils out of their slots I worked on the drawing. I added a couple of blue greens and yellows to the mix to add variety to the colors.

Below is the resulting drawing.

I rather like it, though I am finding myself thinking about what could be added or changed. What I really like is the color combination of the browns with the sort of turquoise blues. In reality I am not going to add more background, I think it would only be distracting to the already complex shapes. It doesn't have a name just yet so if anyone has any suggestions please leave a comment.

Below are my Nature Journal pages from Monday's visit to Daniel Webster.

The top drawing is my usual tree stump, I think it may have shifted a bit more in the water. The water level seems to have gone down a bit from last week, but the way this stump is shifting around it is a bit hard to tell.  Anyway it is still my best indicator of water levels so I will continue to draw it.

This week there were four turtles hauled out on the trunk enjoying the sun. Each week when I arrive at the viewing blind I am wondering if this will be the week that I no longer see them, but each week, so far, they are still out and about. I have to wonder just how much longer they can stay active.

The center section is of some tansy flowers and leaf. Because of our warm weather and lack of a really hard frost (despite snow on a couple of occasions) the tansy is still blooming at Daniel Webster. I didn't draw the leaf very well, but the flower heads are rendered fairly accurately.

The last drawing is of a robin sitting in some sort of cherry tree that still has a lot of berries. Actually there were 4 robins in this tree, all dining on the fruit. They let me get fairly close with the camera before flying off. I am sure that as soon as I left the area they all came back to resume their interrupted meal. I expect the tree will be picked clean on my next visit.

Below are a couple of photographs from my visit to the Sanctuary.

A view of one of the bends in the river with the edge of a stand of Red Maples. It was a beautiful day Monday, though really too warm for this time of year, but I will take what I can get. You can see that these trees have totally lost their leaves so at least the next snow fall shouldn't take down any trees.

I photographed this dragonfly on the railing of one of the bridges that span the river. I didn't really expect to see it but there is it. This week I didn't hear any crickets in the sanctuary. I had been hearing them in the grasses near the river but this week they were silent.

That is it for today. Comments are always appreciated.