Ales, France by the river. A brief nice view on an otherwise overcast and rainy visit.
My Mom’s neighbor, Eric, is an excellent flower gardener which is not so interesting in itself except that he never seems satisfied with where the flowers are planted. Every time I visit, they are all rearranged. It’s easily the most mobile garden I’ve ever visited. The bee may never find this lily again!
Harpers Ferry was a beautiful city located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. It’s cheap power and ideal location made it an early center for industry in the US and the starting point for westward exploration by the settlers. Unfortunately, it is utterly indefensible in time of war and so was slowly erased as one side and then the other took it during the civil war, with each losing side taking away a bit more of the town on the way out. It never recovered as an industrial center but the town is now a living museum. I spent an afternoon here in early Fall with my brother, a history buff.
The view is looking through the trees at a pillar for a long-gone train trestle.
We visited the Montauk lighthouse between two major storms. The day was bright and crisp. The lighthouse was ordered by George Washington and was the first lighthouse in New York state. 4″x6″
Spring arrives! The first crocuses popped up by the Metro stop, so I had to make a quick sketch. Four weeks until the cherry blossoms.
Meiji Jingu. Being horribly jetlagged, I arrived very early in the morning before the large crowds that soon followed. Meiji jingu is a Shinto shrine that embodies the spirit of Emperor Meiji who worked tirelessly to modernize Japan in the late 19th century. The grounds are a large, deep forest that I never would have associated with Tokyo. I hope never to forget the place.
The tree to the left is the sacred camphor tree around which many small prayer tablets called “ema” are hung. Somehow the priests convey the requests to the spirits. The tree itself is a force of nature and I can think of only a couple of other trees that awed me so—a mountainside of quaking aspen in the summer sun and the California redwoods when I was twelve.
The paints are something new. Following Nikira’s suggestion, I bought a set of Shin gansai “watercolor” paints. The box suggests that they are for sumi painting. Their opacity is higher than comparable Western paints and even though they have modern watercolor binders, I felt that they flowed a bit slower which I prefer. Several of the colors are gorgeous, especially the deep blues. What did not come through in the scan is that the light ochre color in the trees is actually the gold that came with the set. It also sparkles through the green areas and helps catch the feeling of the rising sun.
One last image from Shinjuku Gyoen. This is a popular destination in Tokyo for the Spring Cherry Blossom Festival.
I had a day to walk around Tokyo on a nice but cold day. This is Shinjuku Gyoen, what was for a while the Imperial Gardens. Drawing this, I ran into the interesting problem of how to draw realistically bushes that are pruned to be round blobs. I tried fading out the texture but can’t say it totally solved the problem.