At Moss Landing State Beach sketching a fine raft of scoters in the gray-green sea. Lovely Pacific.
About the MotmotExploring the natural world with pencil and paper from high atop a one-story bungalow in the middle of Oklahoma.
On the jetty at Moss Landing, drawing brown pelicans and California gulls, hearing sea lions bark and inhaling aromatic sea salt mixed with giant kelp. Almost edible.
Harbor seals snore on the beach and sea otters lay on their backs in the swell, their front paws pressed together. The fog is coming in, and the tide is going out.
A homecoming for me. Painting the beautiful central coast. Happy to be here, with pastels and pencil.
Is it Thursday? I’ll be here another week. What could be better than fall at Elkhorn Slough?
If I find something, I’ll let you know.
From Barro Colorado Island, Panama, with love.
We’ve had two feet of rain this month. Yesterday, an early morning storm arrived with a tornado warning that sent me and Gizmo splashing down into our flooded basement. Our yard may be squishy, but some of our neighbors could raise catfish on their lawns. That’s a real thing- locals have been reporting catfish and carp around their houses. It’s just a good thing we don’t have alligators in these parts.
After all the rain, my poor garden is a hot mess. But a few years ago my friend Kiki gave me a mysterious “voodoo lily”, and the other day it finally came into bloom. The huge flower was fantastic- deep red, frilled along the edges, with a long, nearly black spathe. Gorgeous- and it stunk like a dead raccoon. Flies crawled all over, pollinating. I held my nose and peered down into the hollow bulb at the bottom of the spathe where the plant’s sexual parts are hidden. It seethed with black beetles.
The next day, Dracunculus looked a little, well, flaccid. The fetid odor was diminished somewhat, too. A one-day garden wonder, but what a performance.
The weather forecast over the next few days looks pretty good, so far. Maybe a thunderstorm or two, but basically okay. A little sunshine would go a long way. And I can’t think of anything better than a day in the garden.
Did these drawings using only a single strong light on a stand. Room lights shut off, blinds closed, drawing in semi-darkness. You can really see the figure that way. A single light source, simplicity itself. Every pose starkly beautiful.
I’m thinking about trying a few oil sketches based on the drawings.
I have a bunch more of these from the same session, but it’s time to go sit out on the porch with Ant Man and a glass of wine and enjoy the end of the day. I’ll keep scanning and posting. Something to look forward to.