Art at Altitude

We recently made a short trip to New Mexico for a family event. I’ll post photos and backstory about that soon, was a great trip. I took a little travel kit of sketchbook and watercolor markers to have something to do during the downtime. A big chunk of downtime is just flights and layovers. Jammed into a tiny seat on a tiny table at 30,000 feet above Louisiana, it had time to do a little study of a winter cattail.

Working from memory is oddly easier than working from a photo. The thing about watercolor is it has a mind of its own and may not want to cooperate. Especially true when you’re still a newbie and don’t know how to predict what will happen, or coerce it to do what you had in mind. But working from memory, you get into a sort of feedback loop with the paint and water and paper. Instead of trying to force it to look like the photo, you get into a conversation with it. Dabble a little pigment and water on the paper, then respond to whatever happens, play off the result and add to that.

Sometimes an accident results in an interesting effect that’s worth amplifying, then following to see where it goes. When you try to reproduce a photo, you can get caught into a frustrating loop, trying to recreate one visual medium with another – but the results are not comparable. It’s a sort of dead end with no exit and no way to backtrack.

I may unhitch my intentions from that mooring and just follow where the wind blows, see where we end up.

Crossing Over

The outboard on the skiff died, the one that ferries us over. Her father, the waterman, boat builder, sawmiller, got it running again.

“Go on over,” he said around a cigarette, “if you get stuck I’ll come get ya. “

She took our old friends across the marsh. I followed behind, paddling against the breeze that rattled through the sawgrass

Trees Dancing with the Moon

The moon was full and bright last night. From the porch I could see it clearly through the trees for the first time since last Spring.

In the morning the maples had dropped all their leaves, now piled around their ankles like crimson silk slips or night gowns, bare arms outstretched to the sky.

I’m sure the moon had something to do with it.

Yesterday and today were in the 80s, and the wind blew all day. By afternoon the color was gone, dry leaves swirling across the lawn into eddies on porches and shrubs.

Tomorrow it will get down into the low 20s, first hard freeze of the season. One last hurrah before winter.

Light Harmonies

Got out for a bit, change of scenery.

Heard a poet singing to a park of children and tent homes,
from the hole where the hearse wasn’t, at a funeral home.

A nice place to watch the slow turn of celestial spheres.