Sunday, May 22, 2016

Some sketches

Main Street, Hope Valley - Click image for larger view
Since I haven't posted any sketches for a while I thought that I could do a quick review here of some things I have done in the past few weeks. I am still sketching early mornings before work, but I took a few weeks off while I was out of work, after a minor surgery. The sketch above was actually done in my studio from a sketch. It was a request from the person who lives in the blue house.

Coolers on the Dock, Wickford, RI
I sketched this one on Friday morning, and didn't really have enough time to finish. I kind of rushed the background as I was up against the clock. I should have taken some pictures as this would make a good studio painting.

Near the dam at Barberville Pond
I sketched this one on a dreary morning from the front seat of the car parked near the dam. I have been enjoying painting in the woods more and more. The trees pose all sorts of different problems that the houses of Hope Valley.

Wood River Inn, Wyoming, RI
Finally got some early morning sunlight. As the Earth is moving around it's orbit the sunshine has finally caught up with my schedule. Hopefully I have a few more of these bright mornings before it swings past the mid point and takes my mornings back into the gloom.

Switch Road, Hope Valley
I have sketched this road several times from the same view point. This was another of those mornings that was threatening to rain and the light was flat. I tried to work out the values of light and dark, foreground and background. This is my current area of focus. -- gotta keep working on that.

Back in the woods.
This is a spot along the Wood River in Hope Valley where I get some glimpses of the wood river. I included this one here to show how important values are. The values in this painting are not what they could be. The big fallen stump looks more like a hole in the paper. . . in other words, this one sucks as far as values go. I need to really start doing quick value sketches first, but time is so short when I sketch in the morning.

You can check out all of my sketches by clicking this link.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Another Early Morning Sunrise

Best Viewed Full Screen

I was sketching this morning at the Carolina Trout Pond, off of Switch Road in Carolina, Rhode Island, and figured I might as well shoot a time lapse at the same time. I could see that the sunlight was going to creep down the trees on the other side of the pond and knew it would be a nice warm contrast to the cool blues of the remaining snow left from the storm the other day. I did forget to lock down the focus of the camera so there are some imperfections, and I wish I had a wider lens..but all things considered I am pleased with this shot. Glad for the snow on the ground. This 30 second clip represents almost one hour in real time..54 minutes I think. If you go to full screen you can spot a Great Blue Heron fishing at the far end of the pond, and a few ducks down there too in the final seconds.

My sketch was more complex than I anticipated when I started...lots of trees. I was sketching the far shore directly across the pond. I was sketching from the inside of my car as it was 18º F outside. I was up against the clock and if you follow my ramblings you know that I sketch before work up to the last minute so every one of these drawing 'has a deadline', so to speak. I did run a few minutes long today and got into the office a few minutes later than normal. But I like the results.

Across the Pond - Click image for larger view
More to come as I am confident that the weather will improve, as least it has in the past.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Morning stuff

I went out the other morning to sketch, as usual, and decided to go into Providence and shoot a time lapse as well. Here is the result of both.

Providence, Rhode Island - Click image for larger view
So I had parked in the first spot along this stretch of road and sat my camera up in front of the car and watched it click away as I sketched the scene. I do like shooting time lapse.

I always find it interesting how different my sketches are from the reality of the scene - I seem to have made some stubby buildings... and you can see in the time lapse how the light was changing.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Some Photos for a change

Just a small collection of some photos I have taken recently.
Nana at Purgatory Chasm - Click image for larger view
Wyoming Pond -late March Snow

Purgatory Chasm


Chilly Morning
The falls
Roaring Brook Falls
Roaring Brook

Along the Purgatory Chasm

Bridge over the brook

Friday, March 11, 2016

Lost in the woods

Lone Pine - Click image for larger view
For the past several months Carol and I have been off hiking every weekend so naturally I have been scouting different areas before work and sketching accordingly. It is an interesting change (for me) to switch from the buildings and houses in urban areas that I typically sketch, to go to the more organic woodlands around Rhode Island. I have been having fun and learning a lot. I liked the composition above just because that one tree is so out of place and right behind the sign.

The Crawley Preserve - Blue Dot - Click image for larger view
A couple from the Crawley Preserve, which we haven't hiked yet, but I would guess these trails are in our future. It is remarkable just how many different wooded areas there are around Rhode Island and how remote you can be within minutes of leaving your car.

Crawley Preserve - White Dot - Click image for larger view
And a spot along the road in Wood River Junction, Rhode Island. I didn't find a hiking trail here but this is a great access to the Wood River to put in a canoe or to fish.

Bridge on Rt 91 - Click image for larger view
So I will keep sketching away, hiking  and trying to record some of what I see. As Carol and I continue to discover new places I will keep posting here and elsewhere, just in case anyone is interested.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Just back from the sun. .

.A view from the boat - Click image for larger view
We have just returned from a wonderful couple of weeks in the Caribbean with friends. The first week was spent in the British Virgin Islands cruising aboard a 40 foot power catamaran. Highly recommended. We were able to make it to just about everywhere we wanted to go and the boat handled like a dream with no issues.  We flew from Boston to St Thomas and were greeted by a friend who treated us like royalty, thanks Kelly. The following day, after the sunset cruise the night before, and a great dinner, we caught the ferry to Road Town, Tortola, BVI and on to the charter company to get the boat. The Moorings is highly recommended as they were courteous and professional. We didn't get away from the dock until about 3 in the afternoon and set a course to Norman Island, and the adventure began.

Jost Van Dyke - Click Image for larger view
We cruised from Tortola to Norman Island, Peter Island Sopers Hole, Jost Van Dyke, Trellis Bay, the Baths, Leverick Bay, a quick stop at Coopers Island and back to Peter Island, returning to Road Town on Tortola to catch the ferry back to St Thomas. At each stop there was swimming and eating and exploring and new tastes and drinks and sights to much crammed into so little time. Need to go back for a few months next time.

A page from the collection - Click image for larger view
From St Thomas we flew to San Juan Puerto Rico where we met up with more friends. A total of seven of us made our way to the ferry in Fajardo to travel the 17 miles to Vieques, an island off the coast of Puerto Rico. Now the ferry was the best bargain of the whole trip. Since we were all seniors we got our tickets at HALF PRICE!! It cost a dollar! Well, each way, so for the 7 of us it was $14 round trip. What the heck can you get for a dollar these days.
A small market - Click image for larger view
We stayed in Isabel Segunda - the major town on the island - which must have a total of about 20 streets and everything is in walking distance. We loved the island, great views, even better beaches and super friendly people. We  drove all over the island, toured the bioluminescence bay, walked the boardwalk in Esperanza and ate at great restaurants. We always ate well whether at a restaurant or cooked at 'home' -- special thanks to those who cooked, it was all so good. . . .

Media Luna, great beach down a long dirt road - Click image for larger view
So it was sad to say good-bye to such a special place and break up the little group that made our time special. Sunday morning we flew home from San Juan to arrive in temps that had the wind chill well below zero.  Ahhh it's good to be home. . . . . .

You can view all of my sketches HERE!

Friday, January 8, 2016

It's a New Year

The Fallen Tree - Click Image for larger view
The first post of the new year. 2016 - amazing!  I started this blog back in 2008 and it didn't have much of a focus, so here we are several years later, and still no focus. I have been posting my sketching recently but over the years I have posted animations, stop motion videos, time lapse videos, photography and 360º photography - the sketching is a more recent aberration. I am hoping to diversify back into more creative areas this year. However, being a basically lazy  old fart who knows just how it will shake out. But to anyone reading this out there in the interweb, I hope your new year is filled with spontaneous creativity.
Cheers, Ed

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Hiking on the weekends

Billings Barn - Click image for larger view
As I mentioned in an earlier post, since September, Carol and I have been spending at least one day each weekend hiking in different forests in our area. We have explored many spots in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The barn in the sketch above was done in the Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary in Walpole, Massachusetts. It was a great walk with easy hiking and fantastic views from a high bluff...overlooking Patriot Place about 8 miles away. This unique looking barn was along the path and it had several bat habitats attached to it and a building next to this one was dedicated to bat habitat. Moose Hill is run by the Audubon Society of Massachusetts and the charges us seniors $3.00 each to hike their trails, which certainly seems reasonable as this is a very well maintained site.

Lobster boat, Wickford - Click image for larger view
Although I am still sketching every morning before work, things are getting more difficult. The sun seems to rise around noon these dark for so long in the morning - and I am just running out of things to sketch in Hope Valley. So I am leaving earlier (when it is even darker) and traveling further afield. The sketch above in is Wickford which is about 40 -45 minutes from home and still about 40 minutes from work -- I like to get to work at 7:30 -- so I left extra early and started this sketch in the dim light of a nearby street lamp and finished up a few minuted before the sun broke the horizon. Still having fun with this though and will continue, although I am longing for my camera again so I may start mixing some photos back into this blog.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Summer is over. . .

Morning Field - Click image for larger view
It is almost winter, Although we have had a November that has been much warmer than others, the leaves seem to have left us more quickly this year. I did this sketch in Hope Valley, Rhode Island. The view is the field behind the Grange and ball field. It was very early in the morning and no one was around as I found just the right place to sketch from. This sketch is pencil on watercolor paper - I originally was thinking of painting, but got carried away with the pencil and eventually just ran out of time. I try to sketch each morning before work - most days starting around 6:30 and I am typically in to work by 7:30, so it gives  me about about an hour to fill up a page or two. Some days I have less time as I spend my time searching for a good view or an interesting old building. Coming from the midwest,  I am continually fascinated with the New England architecture which is so rich in variety, character and detail. The days are approaching their shortest daylight hours, and my morning light starts later each day. When I started this sketch the light was completely different that when I finished...another reason not to use paint. . .fast changing light in a complex image like this one is maddening and I seldom have the patience to come back again to finish another day. Once my time runs out, my sketch is done and not touched again.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Pencil sketch, Walden Pond - Click image for larger view
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
Henry David Thoreau

Carol and I have been hiking most weekends lately, and few weeks ago we went up to Concord, Ma. and rediscovered a bit of American History. I have been a fan of Thoreau since I was a teen, under the influence of my father who was a big fan of the New England poets and philosophers. Thoreau was required reading and I longed for a simple life in the woods..but have ultimately taken the other fork in the road. Carol and I hiked along the Minute Man trail and over the rude bridge that arches the flood. We have hiked a few rocky trails with friends and through the fall foliage around Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

After the hike sketch - Click image for larger view
I have posted well over 600 images on my Flickr page as I am still sketching every morning before work, and sometimes on the weekend. Still carving spoons and making things in the shop and doing a lot of photography, time lapse and 3D animation. . .trying to keep busy.