Monday, February 8, 2016

Massachusetts and New Hampshire

In December we met a friend at the Peabody-Essex Museum in Massachusetts—a great place. The exhibit we saw was all about Strandbeests, which are wind-driven kinetic sculptures created and evolved over the years by the Dutch artist/inventor/philosopher Theo Jansen. Above I have drawn a few of the feet and part of the sail of one of the operational pieces in the exhibit. In the background are parts taken from older, non-functioning beasts. The parts are displayed like fossils. The sculptures are created from thin PVC pipe.

Here’s a link to a video of these creatures in action. There are many, many more videos out there on the Web, along with links to offshoots of the species developed (with the artist’s encouragement) by followers from around the world.

The exhibit has now moved on to Chicago, where it can be seen through May 1st. Jansen’s full international schedule is available here.

One day I drove past our town green and spotted this dragon made of snow.
I put a few sparrows in for scale. I feel quite sure I know who made this temporary sculpture.

A couple of days later, our town’s winter carnival began with the annual Dinner With Jack Frost, a progressive dinner on the town green featuring food donated by local restaurants. And by a famous chocolate company with New Hampshire roots, Lindt!

I drew in the dark and the cold with soft vine charcoal, with touches of yellow added at home. The white paper becomes the snow.

The next four drawings were created on my iPad with a digital art program called Drawing Pad. It is made specifically for children. Perhaps that is why I love to use it.

We can see this one house through the woods. The snow on the roof is just visible through the tree trunks. I purposely made the window look like it is floating in space.

Our woods are filled with trees that are oddly misshapen. A severe ice storm in 1999 knocked off many branches. In most cases the trees survived and sprouted new branches to take over.

Doesn’t this drawing look like it was drawn with a soft pencil? No, it’s a digital version of pencil.

In the winter we see a lot of beautiful colors in the east at sunset. The ridge lights up with gold, and the sky often is filled with pink clouds.

And a brightly colored gerbera daisy to finish this month’s post.