Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sketches and a visit to the MFA


One day last week I went into Boston to visit the MFA (Museum of Fine Arts) because I hate driving in Boston I took public transportation. To entertain myself on the trip I made some sketches of people and a tree I could see at stations and on the trains. Above is a woman waiting. She is very sketchy but I am not totally displeased with how it came out.


At the Red Line stations while waiting for the trail to leave I could see a tree, not a totally successful sketch, but I was starting to get there. Below the tree is the face of a fellow passenger on the train, he had headsets on and was listening to music. Again very sketchy, but also a bit of a likeness.


Above is a photograph of the entrance of the MFA with banners for the Jamie Wyeth exhibit which was my reason for heading to the museum. Talk about a post card photograph, blue sky with just a few white clouds, not my usual style, but every now and then I manage one of these. As an aside they have to be watering the lawn as most places have very brown grass at this point in the summer as it has been fairly dry.

I must say I enjoyed the exhibit immensely. It is the first major retrospective of Jamie Wyeth's art and they certainly have a range, from some of his earliest works (drawings he made as a child) to some of his most recent, Sea Gulls representing the 7 deadly sins, in watercolor on archival cardboard. They had two of his wild sheep paintings some of his portraits (including the exchange portraits he did with Andy Warhol) and some of his drawings of Rudolf Nureyev. He was friends with both back in the 1960's. What I found interesting is that in his early portraits he was looking for total accuracy, even to using calipers to measure distances, while some of his most recent work has become quite impressionistic. All of his paintings have power, and I enjoyed viewing them all, but I admit that I am just as happy that he is no longer a slave to realism.

I gather that the exhibit received mixed reviews, but then Jamie like his father and grandfather before him have received mixed reviews from the art critics their entire lives. He doesn't care and I admit that I don't either, I enjoy looking at what all of them create despite the critics. So if you are in the Boston area while the exhibit is going on I urge you to stop by for a look.


A couple more of my from nature sketches above is a seed pod from a Sweetgum tree. The other items are the actual seeds and debris that came from inside the pod. I have drawn the seeds slightly larger than life in order to depict them in more detail.

MA is about as far north as the Sweetgum will grow, this tree was planted by the city to be a street shade tree.


The seed pod above is from a Copper Beech tree that is growing in my neighborhood. This is a huge old tree, the trunk is many feet around, and looks to be in need of a tree service to check out how healthy it actually is. Oh well Copper Beeches are not native North American trees but were planted as ornamental trees by our ancestors.

Each pod contains 2 seeds, though I have drawn only one of the seeds that was contained in this pod. Exterior of the pod is hairy and dark brown.


A couple of quick pen and ink sketches of a miniature rose blossom, side view on top, and a top view on the bottom.


In past years I have had lots of butterfly photographs to share, not this year. Mostly because I haven't been getting out to the MA Audubon Sanctuaries where I usually photograph them. My local neighborhood doesn't play host to many butterflies. I mostly see just the cabbage whites, and mostly from a distance only. The other day I finally had the opportunity to photograph one, so above is my best shot, cabbage white, male nectoring at a fall aster.