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 days..so 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.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Great Minds. . .

A view from Benefit Street - Click image for larger view.
The other day I did this sketch in Providence before work..my usual routine. When I get to work, I scan in my daily sketch and post it on my Flickr page. There is a lot wrong with my sketch, at least things I would do differently if I had more time to do it again... and then I got an email from my longtime friend Richard Benjamin. Dick is not only a great photographer but THE photographer for all things Rhode Island and all of New England. He sent me this image he shot back in June. We must have been at the exact same point and saw the same view and responded accordingly.
All I can say is, Richard you have great taste. . .

Photo by Richard Benjamin
If you want to see what Rhode Island really looks like visit Dick's site at photosofri.com
Plan on staying there a while - his images are stunning.

Friday, August 14, 2015

More of Hope Valley. . . and a couple from Canada

Morning Sunshine in Hope Valley -- Click image for larger view
I have been experimenting again with color..this is a hurdle I need to jump. This morning I attempted a painting in gouache and abandoned it and cut it out of the sketchbook. Color just confounds me. I am fairly happy with the sketch above but still have a lot of issues with it.

Large home in the sun. - Click image for larger view
This large stone house sits just to the right of the house just above. The early morning sunlight has been cooperative recently.

Caley Farm, Port Elgin, Ontario -- Click image for larger view
Last week we were on vacation visiting with relatives in Canada and had a very enjoyable visit. Ben and I got in a few bike rides and the grandkids had a fun time on the farm. This was a new experience for the, i Made time for a few sketches along the way.

While having my morning coffee -- Click image for larger view

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Some recent Hope Valley sketches

Behing Barrett's Engine Repair & Garage - Click image larger view
This morning I got in a quick little sketch of the back side of a local business in Hope Valley. I have drawn this area from different angles in the past - it is an interesting mix of textures. I am somewhat pleased with this sketch.

Arts & Crafts style house - Click image for larger view
I had a pretty good sketch going here but kind of messed it up when I applied the washes..this one should have been an ink sketch. I was working on my lights and darks trying to work up values that told the story but feel as though it has just gone muddy.

Back on Main Street - Click image for larger view
Every once in a while I may not get the color just right, but I think I got this one close.

Behind the big house on Main - Click image for larger view
This is a beautiful large stone house in Hope Valley right on Main Street. This view if from the back side from the parking lot of the church next door. Sketched from my car as the morning started off rainy and when the sun came out I get some good light on the building.

Yet another house on Main Street - Click image for larger view
You can check out all my sketches on my Flickr page at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/edhuff/

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Catching Up

The Old Bank Cafe, Pawtuxet Village - click image for larger view
Once again I have been neglecting the blog -- I promise to be better. . . but as it happens Springtime is filled with so many things to do. (Insert several lame excuses here) I have still been out sketching almost every morning before work and doing a lot of different experimenting with style and color - sometime more successful than others. Since I last posted here I sold my boat, my grandkids graduated from their respective classes (first grade and 8th grade- Ben now moves on to high school) Ben is determined to get his pilot's license before he gets his drivers license, and is well on his way. When we were at the airport for a lesson the other day I sketched the thing in the pic below:
Strange looking thing - click image for larger view
I am not sure just how this thing works but it got my attention as 'now that's something that I have never sketched before' In any event I am still having fun with my sketching and have been playing a lot with time lapse, and I got a new GoPro so have been having fun with that too.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Sketching and photography - maximizing time

So for the past few days, as I am sketching I am also capturing the scene in a time lapse. I have been shooting these off and on for sever years but have remiss in shooting lately. As the weather is getting better and I am actually able to sketch outside the shell of my car I have plenty of time to catch these images..I feel like such an amateur as I have forgotten so many of the small things that make up a good time lapse..but it is coming back and I expect that they will get better. Oh, and here is my sketch...
A page from the book - Click image for larger view
The houses were sketched yesterday while waiting for a friend. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Where does time go. . .

More trees - Click image for larger view
I cannot believe that almost a month has gone by since I last posted. I just don't know where time goes. So I have posted more on my Flickr page, done several that I haven't posted..shot a lot of photos finished a commissioned drawing, started a major personal 3D project (I am creating a 3D model of the interior of the pilot house of the ship I was on while in the Navy way back in the 60's) I have been sketching a lot of trees and natural environments in addition to the buildings and street scenes I normally sketch. I have been doing some color experiments as well. So here is a smattering of the things I have been up to, I hope you enjoy them.
Pine Grove Cemetery  - Click image for larger view
From the roadside  - Click image for larger view
My initial render of the helm station from the Navy ship USS Richard L Page

Monday, March 30, 2015

Small Milestone Today

Just another tree  - Click image to view larger
This sketch from this morning (March 30, 2015) marks the 500th sketch I have posted on Flickr since I started posting there just two years ago. Rest assured I have sketched many more but I'm not sharing them - mostly they are crap. . .  we all sketch crap from time to time and I would rather not share those lesser sketches (in hopes you may think I am actually better at this). This sketch started out in pencil as a contour drawing working on the negative shapes, then progressed with a Pitt XS pen to bring in the values. The sun kept appearing and disappearing making the shadows come and go. I sketched this from the drivers seat in my car, like so many others, as it is still bitter cold - a raw 28º F this morning. So enough babbling - if you like,you can check out my Flickr page here

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Grange and the Equinox

To View Panorama - click image
Today is the Spring Equinox - I have been shooting these 360 panoramas on every equinox and solstice (mostly) since 2004.  I got this shot at sunrise in Hope Valley where I do most of my sketching these days. Renovations are coming soon to the Grange (pictured here) and I have been doing some sketches for them. It is nice that the renovations will not change the charm of this beautiful New England town.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A Florida getaway

We had an opportunity to get away to Florida for a few days and escape all the cold and snow...and sketching the large white piles. I filled up more than a dozen pages and had a great time in the sunshine doing it. We were fortunate that we were able to stay with friends, thanks Rayna and Al for the invite, you guys rock.  It was also amazing that so many of our friends were in Florida at the same time.  We had a great time catching up with our friends Tom and Debbie who were vacationing from South Carolina. Carol and I were celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary and we were so happy to be able to share that special day with such good friends.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Nothing But Snow

Lots of snow sketches
Over the past few weeks it has been snowing on a regular basis, and not just a little bit, but a lot. . .  January was a relatively dry month with very little precipitation but since the last week in January we have been experiencing tons of snow, I think I heard the other day that we have received over 80 inches so far this year..and none of it has melted. The result of the snow (and the low temperatures) I have been sketching large snow piles from the driver's seat of my car.