Saturday, October 31, 2009

Autumn in New Hampshire and Maryland

For any new viewers to my site...welcome! I draw on site, not from photographs. Either sitting or standing to sketch, I draw on small paper. Sometimes I start immediately with pen, other times for a more complex subject, I start the basic composition in pencil.

How do I choose my subjects? Each scene must challenge my head, and tug at my heart. After those two criteria are met and I start my work, it is all a kind of dance between my eye, brain, heart, hand, and drawing tool. Just the act of carrying pencil and paper with me improves my observational skills! I feel engaged with the world when I am looking for beauty.

A farmhouse in Bradford, New Hampshire. If you keep adding on to your house, you eventually get to the barn. Then you don’t have to go outside to feed the animals.

The apple pie baking contest at Spring Ledge Farm in New London. There were 33 pies submitted, and I chose three to draw. Number ten did tie for first place, so I guess it tasted as good as it looked.

The Fall selection at Spring Ledge Farm. I included the yellow house across the street, as it fit in so well with the color scheme. It is a New England style Greek Revival built around 1830.

October is a big month for yellow and orange. This is the Autumn view from our top story window-wall. On the Northeast end of the house our windows go floor to ceiling. It is like living in a tree house.

The same view, as seen from the deck about three weeks later. We live in a beech forest, and those leaves stay on in a russet color until Spring. The white bark of the birch trees is lovely all year. The ridge in the background disappears when the leaves return in springtime.

I drew this in 2008, a year ago. I called this tree the ‘show off’ tree, as it glowed long after the other leaves were gone.

The boats at rest on Pleasant Lake. Mount Kearsarge is in the background.

Main Street, Ellicott City, Maryland. I think that this old building near the rail road station was once a hotel. It is built into the granite hillside. Yes, that is a large teddy bear on the porch roof. It is now a toy store.

The Wilkins-Rogers flour mills, a block from the hotel in the last drawing. This company makes Washington brand cake and muffin mixes. The Ellicott brothers settled here in Maryland to grow wheat and mill it. So I feel this building is a direct link to the past.

The Thomas Isaac cabin, on upper Main Street. Another link to the town’s beginnings.

Again, Main Street. Actually, almost all the commercial buildings are on this one street. The yellow brick store is from the 1920’s. The other two far earlier. I never knew why the windows and door are off-center in the middle building. It is of locally quarried granite.

And here is a large chunk of that granite. In some parts of town the granite stone flows right down to the brick sidewalk. This is rush hour (probably rush 15 minutes). ‘Sweet’ is the name of a bakery new to me since my last visit.

A window in Baltimore. I found this scene so charming, with toddler toys stored so neatly on the window sill, and crayon scribble marks to complete the décor. This rowhouse is next door to our daughter and son-in-law’s house. The two year old boy has a new sister.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Canadian Rockies and Baltimore

The view of the Colin Range in Jasper Township, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.
This is our fourth trip to the beautiful town of Jasper.
This view is from my favorite restaurant, Earl’s.

Whistlers Mountain above the village of Jasper, with the tramway building at the near top. You can see six mountain ranges from the top. The elevation is 7,472 feet or 2,277 meters. We hiked from the building to the top of the mountain in 40 minutes of hard work, to see the 360 degree view. In the very foreground is the clear and aqua Lake Beauvert.

I often draw from wherever I find a comfy seat. This is the view of Jasper from inside the tramway restaurant. Jasper is a lovely, crescent shaped town that cannot grow larger because of the National Park rules. You see many lakes, Jasper Park Lodge on the far right, and the very busy train tracks. Two rivers meet here. The glacial one is aqua colored. They flow into the Arctic Sea.

A typical view in Jasper, from our Greek Restaurant, the Palisades. The grey rocks are limestone. The one with the brown stone top is called Old Man Mountain. Some say it looks like a sleeping Indian complete with feathers aside his face.

The view from the Alberta Rocky Mountain High B&B (great place!) in Canmore, a town just outside Banff National Park (about 200 miles south of Jasper via the gorgeous Icefields Parkway). The mountains are called the Three Sisters. Funny how the three peaked roof lines echo the mountain profiles. I didn't notice this until done drawing. The morning sun was just catching the mountaintops.

Canmore’s pictographs at Grassi Lakes. We hiked here.
It was steep, but less than an hour’s effort.
Experts say these drawings are 10,000 to 14,000 years old. What do you think they mean?

Back to the East Coast, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. This is Greektown as is plain to see. The buildings as I drew them all have an odd slant. Must have been holding my paper at an angle.

The view of Lakewood and Fairmount Avenues, Baltimore. From the rooftop of our daughter’s house. The big black object in the foreground is the tar-papered covered roof where I was standing. I was locked out on the roof at the time, so I had plenty of time to draw.

Snikle, the official cat of the Elkins Post Office, where we collect our mail.
A VERY friendly and soft cat.

The centerpiece of my birthday meal in Edmonton.
My sister and our granddaughters designed this unusual decoration for the table.