Sunday, June 30, 2019

Big and Little

This is the view from our living room to the ridge, looking east. The colors are beautiful at the end of the day. 

We were leaving soon for some traveling from the eastern edge to the western edge of North America.

This blog posting is about two views of the world. Looking to the horizon, to see where you are in the big picture. And then, looking down and observing small things closely.

I draw this view of Boston every time I am in the WestJet terminal at Logan Airport. To be there, means we are on our way to visit with our grandchildren in western Canada. On the very far right, you can spot the tiny spire of the old Customs House, the only old building in the panorama and once the tallest building in town.

Our neighborhood in Edmonton, where our grandchildren and their parents live, is new. But it’s full of shops and happily, many ethnic restaurants. Our grandchildren love an outing to Wok Box. And grandson Shane, just turned 4, has mastered his alphabet and continues to be amazed by the backwards B in the logo at Best Bite.

Just a bit of looking closely, Shane’s soft ball.

 He himself is just starting to enjoy pushing a pencil around a sheet of paper. Now that he has quite mastered reading and numbers.

Another of my hat studies, the four year old’s cloth sun hat. I invented the beachy background.

And looking up and out and trying to take in the pleasing vista. When our daughter saw me pull out my sketchbook, she said in admiration of the view, “where do you start?” I answered “with the road”.

 Santa Catalina Island is twenty-six miles across the sea from the coast of California, as noted in the 1957 Gold Record by the Four Preps. This was our second trip there with family. And our first time getting this view of the town of Avalon, the only residential area on the rugged island. We got to this viewpoint in a rented golf cart, the approved means of transportation on the island.

The round building is a dance hall and movie theater constructed in 1929 to show ‘talkies’. It is very beautiful inside and out, and still used for these two purposes.

Facing opposite the entrance to the theater is this view of the Carillon in Avalon. It strikes the hours and plays the Westminster Chimes. We were in California during the spring big bloom. The seven year drought had eased and the flowers were showing their appreciation.

 People here on the island told me these wildflowers hadn’t bloomed in ten years.

Back to close observation. These are paper origami lilies skillfully made for us a few years ago by our now 14 year old granddaughter. We treasure them.

I’m pretty sure avocado toast was invented in California. Sketching food quickens up one’s drawing time for sure.

Speed drawn at Blue Bottle coffee shop, downtown Los Angeles.

In our condo in Edmonton, Canada, we have a very small red mosaic table. I have painted it and things on it many times.

It was not July when I painted this. I was flipping the calendar pages and planning ahead.

Having studied French for eight years, I enjoy seeing all the signs and labels in Canada in that language. ‘Framboises’ means raspberries, and ‘produit des E-U’ means product of the United States.

You can’t get too much smaller or close up than drawing these delicious red bumpy nuggets.

I bought some herb plants to draw, and consume. This is rosemary, a very fragrant resinous herb. The scent is a walk through a warm pine forest.

Some tomatoes need their portraits painted. It was very perfectly ripe and needed to be enjoyed on the day of purchase. So, another speedy sketch of delicious food.

The horizon here is Morgan Hill in New London, New Hampshire. The water is Pleasant Lake. The occasion was the first day out of school for the local kids,and their first swim to the raft. The branch Post Office is next to the beach. When I pick up our mail, I see beach scenes like this and sometimes take the time to get them down on paper.

I like the pointed rocks in the shallow water at this end of the lake. I have drawn them in all seasons.

Take small moments of time to slow down and look up, and look down.