Beetle Drawings

Beetle Drawings

Beetle Drawings Gouache During the residency at H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest I worked on one gouache painting. The last time I used gouache was about 20 years ago. I don’t have fond memories of the medium. Recently, something in the deep recesses of my memory nagged me to try it again. I felt that my first foray into the medium was nothing but a struggle. I was trying to paint like I was using oil paints. Gouache, however, is nothing like oil paints. Not ready to give up entirely, I tried another once I returned home to my own studio. This time I went into it as if I were making... Read More
HJA Residency Day 8: Split Tree

HJA Residency Day 8: Split Tree

HJA Residency Day 8 Split Tree Split Tree There is a tree in the forest that is straddling a very slow landslide. Every year the land slides a few more inches and the tree splits a little bit more. One day the tree will rip in two. I have been thinking of that tree since I saw it the first day I arrived. Every day that passed, the tree became more prominent in my thoughts. At the top, the tree is still one. At the bottom, I can comfortably sit inside it, the tear reaching high above me. Tim’s close friend Matt died at the age of 30 last Sunday. Ever since Tim went to the hospital to visit... Read More
HJA Residency day 8: thoughts on gouache

HJA Residency day 8: thoughts on gouache

HJA Residency Day 8 Thoughts on Gouache Aaaargh, Gouache! Thoughts on Gouache This morning is my last studio session for this stint of the residency. Although I am not satisfied with the result of working this painting/sketch for 8 mornings, I am satisfied with the effort. I felt that the struggle with the materials oftentimes dominated the process, but it also allowed me to experiment more than I may have if I had been using materials I felt more comfortable manipulating. Never feeling satisfied allowed me to obliterate parts of the painting that needed obliterating more readily. I... Read More
HJA Residency Day 7: walking distance from here

HJA Residency Day 7: walking distance from here

HJA Residency Day 7 Walking Distance From Here Walking Distance From Here I stayed within walking distance of the HJA Headquarters and my apartment, hobbled by my sore legs from the hike yesterday. I am in a hate faze regarding gouache and am thinking that I may just be done with the stuff after I wrestle this painting to death. It feels near dead now. But not quite dead enough. On my many sanity breaks from gouache I had the opportunity to check my immediate surrounds out in greater detail. Two of my favorite finds are another scientist ‘sculpture’ that has been sitting on the railing of my... Read More
HJA Residency Day 6: Old Growth

HJA Residency Day 6: Old Growth

HJA Residency Day 6 Old Growth Old Growth Today was intended as my just-past-halfway walk in the woods, sort of a day of rest. It was anything but restful. I headed to the Old Growth trail, a 3.5 mile one way trail that starts near a point on lookout creek, then ending higher up on the same creek. This was one steep trail. My legs hurt. I feel very justified to have missed my routine afternoon run. Steep, although it is, I highly recommend this trail. It is, of course, very beautiful, but it’s also interesting in that I believe it successfully shows the different layers of an old... Read More
HJA Residency Day 5

HJA Residency Day 5

HJA Residency Day 5 Routine Day 5. I’ve made some progress on the bark beetle drawing, but avoided the background. The sudden bolt of insight to tell me what to do with it sadly has not occurred. Routine The routine is wake up around 6 AM, eat breakfast and start painting until I get hungry around noon. That’s when it starts to warm up and I finally venture outside. I hit lunch hour for some of the HJA staff so I had some much appreciated company. Mark came to our picnic table with his strawberry hazelnut spread sandwich. These people are awesome. After lunch it’s time to... Read More
HJA Residency Day 4: Rodent People

HJA Residency Day 4: Rodent People

HJA Residency Day 4 Rodent People Wrestling with gouache. The lines are becoming more defined. As I work on them I’ve been thinking that the background will need to be pushed back so it doesn’t compete. But I’m getting ahead of myself Rodent People Here’s something that I learned today – people who study squirrels and such do not like to be called ‘rodent people.’ They prefer ‘small mammal people.’ Some of my few neighbors here are studying spotted owl prey. They are here until Thanksgiving trapping and counting small mammals. This is their ‘hot’ time. It’s the time when... Read More
HJ Andrews Residency Day 3: work in progress

HJ Andrews Residency Day 3: work in progress

HJA Residency Day 3 Work In Progress Beetle Drawing Day 3 Work in Progress The struggle with gouache has begun. The darker thick lines 3/4 of the way up the painting is part of a ‘drawing’ that an insect made in wood in the creek. In the afternoon I went to Blue Ridge. This site had been cut some time ago, then burned. It’s teaming with life now. There are a lot of rhododendrons, bear grass, insects, and little... Read More
HJ Andrews Residency Day 3: Spine

HJ Andrews Residency Day 3: Spine

HJA Residency Day 3 Spine In progress – an under painting using watercolor and ink Spine Since I’ve been here in the forest, I’ve been thinking about the spine of the project, as choreographer Twyla Tharp calls it. The spine is usually more for me to know than it is for the viewer. It’s acts as a grounding devise. When things start to spin off on tangents, get messy and out of control, the spine is what brings you back to the center. It’s the idea that supports a project, that unifies a project and gives it consistency. It’s not usually something that I... Read More
HJ Andrews Residency day 2: supporting more life in its death

HJ Andrews Residency day 2: supporting more life in its death

HJA Residency Day 2 Supporting More Life in its Death Beetle Drawing Beginning. Charcoal on paper Supporting More Life in its Death Much of this morning was spent trying to figure out how to turn my lack of studio space into a passable studio space. I am in a 2-bedroom apartment. One bedroom has a large desk. It was the obvious choice. In anticipation of the lack of studio I bought a bunch of non-oil paint stuff that could be used just about anywhere. Last weekend, as I waited for the clerk at the art store to finish ringing up my new paints, she finally looked up at me and said, ‘So…. Have... Read More

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