Sunday, December 30, 2007

Low tide. Crows and Seagulls.

A wide vista: a breezy afternoon at the docks, boats, a rocky breakwater, islands, blue sky. In the foreground, so easily overlooked, is a low tide mudflat, a temporary landing strip for a swirl of crows and seagulls: all wings and strident calls.
My original sketch shows none of this swirl of movement in black and white. I drew what I saw: a few crows resting on a mudflat amid the pattern of shallow breaking waves that bend as they curve around the point of the flat.
So why the change? It has much to do with working with brush and ink and a fascination with pattern. If a little is good, then a lot could be more so right? It can happen faster than I can think with a big brush on rice paper. So the brush and the paper and my hand fly along like greased lightening and suddenly there is a new entity before me. It is as much of a surprise for me as to any other viewer.

...a flight of pelicans
Is nothing lovelier to look at;
The flight of the planets is nothing nobler; all the arts loose virtue
Against the essential reality
Of creatures going about their business among the equally
Ernest elements of nature.
"Boats in a Fog."
Robinson Jeffers.

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