Saturday, October 25, 2014

#inktober Still Life and a visit to the Zoo

I am going to blame the weather for the fact that I got almost no art work done this past week. We had a beautiful sunny day Monday (though a bit chilly) and I took advantage of it to visit the Franklin Park Zoo in Dorchester.

Franklin Park is part of the Emerald Necklace of green spaces and parks that circle Boston. The zoo is an old one established in 1913, it has gone through some hard times but seems to have gotten its act together. They don't have a lot of animals on exhibit, but those they have seem to have appropriate environments and plenty of space. The zoo is obviously focused on kids and how to entertain/inform them. They have a large playground and a several exhibits (most of them closed for the winter) that would make a kid happy, feeding parakeets in a large enclosure, viewing butterflies in another, and allowing folks to feed giraffes to name a few in addition to the petting zoo with farm animals.

I enjoyed my visit but was hoping for opportunities to make some good photographs of unusual animals which I found limited because of the fencing they use for many of the outdoor enclosures so I doubt I will be going back soon.

After Monday the clouds and rain moved in for a prolonged (4 day) stay. We had a strong nor'easter Wednesday afternoon into Thursday with thunder and lighting, strong winds and heavy (downpours) rain. Yesterday afternoon the rain let up but the clouds stayed with us until it cleared overnight. Today we have blue sky's and sun and I am hoping that things will dry out a bit. We needed the rain, but after a very dry sunny Sept. the gloom got a bit hard to take and I wasn't motivated to create art.

Sorry didn't mean to get so wordy. On to the art, the focus piece at the top of the blog is actually my second attempt at a small still life I set up with an onion, potato and some mushrooms one day last week.  I photographed it with my tablet so I can just view it instead of printing the image out on a piece of paper. I can't leave the still life up for very long as I tend to use food I purchased for meals and it gets eaten.

For this drawing I used only pens, some with colored inks and I simplified both shapes and the shadows just to have more drama. On 6 x 6 inch Bristol Board, image size is 4 x 4 inches. I have not been managing the one ink drawing per day of the #inktober challenge, but I am still working at it.

Above is my first version of my Veggie still life. I used my technical pens in my sketchbook and tried to render the fabric background the vegetables were sitting on. Not bad but I think I prefer the version I made with colored inks to this black and white one. Since I usually prefer the black and white version I am a bit surprised.

Tuesday between showers I escaped to the Laundry mat to wash clothes and did this quick lopsided ink drawing of one of the carts they have for patrons to use for wet laundry. I got the perspective almost totally wrong, but for some reason I still rather like this.

Last drawing for today is one that I actually made a couple of weeks ago on one of my Boston visits to the MFA. I was in the Fenway area to visit the large Dick Blick store and ate my lunch sitting at a bench near the T station. Across from me was a bike rack full of bicycles, of which I attempted to draw just one. Since it was almost a head on view it was a bit tricky to draw. Done in my sketchbook with a mechanical pencil.

A couple of photographs from my Monday trip to the Zoo. One of the Gorilla's in the Gorilla habitat. It was nibbling on some of the chunks of food they scatter around the habitat for them to search out, that day it was mostly carrots, but one of the keepers told me that they will cut up just about any fresh vegetable or fruit for them.

Above are some sunlit yellow mums that were planted in containers outside the Zoo entrance. I posted some additional photos from the zoo on my Facebook page, a link can be found at the bottom of my blog.

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