As the US Capitol fell to rioters wielding confederate flags, I was leaving the Tohono Chul botanical gardens in Tucson. Blissfully unaware of the momentous happenings across the country, I spotted a huge, aged cholla. Most of its limbs had been pruned away. A single withered green leaf basked in the sun, while a bleached paddle rose defiantly from a dead limb. A younger plant grew along side, sheltered by this wizened parent.
A metaphor perhaps….
I completed this watercolor at home from a photo taken on Dec 6, 2021. 11″ x 8″, 300lb rough cold pressed paper
I’m starting to realize that haiku is a way I capture the feel of fleeting events. Mostly I’m attentive to my world when I’m outside and walking. I’ll grab my phone camera and snap a shot, and then spend the walk home mulling over or reveling in what I’ve seen. However, sometimes memorable events happen at odd times….
The first birds to start the dawn chorus here in the desert of southern Arizona are the thrashers. They are a sleek blue/grey bird with yellow eyes, long tail and a large curved bill. They are great mimics and once they get started their range of calls is quite remarkable. First thing in the morning, as warm up perhaps, their calls are less melodic and more squawk like. What I don’t here is thrashers calling in the depths of the night, but two nights ago I was awoken by the loud cries of what I believed to have been a thrasher… Too dozy to get up and investigate but awake enough for my imagination to wander.
This image is another of my early explorations of Procreate, a digital drawing/painting platform on my ipad. It may seem strange, but I import a preliminary pencil sketch onto the digital platform and then, using that as a base, start to explore Procreate’s capabilities. I’m feeling like I’m in a bit of a no-man’s land on the one hand trying to stay in the bounds of my watercolor expertise and on the other, letting the wonders of procreate take over…Definitely a work in progress.
This is my first painting of 2021. Milo and his human are often the first souls I encounter on my early morning walks. Once Milo spots someone he knows, he drags his people over to say hello. Despite my goal to improve my race walking times, I have to stop, scratch his head and confirm, yes its a great day. His exuberance has won many a neighbor over to small dogs. He brings smiles to everyone he meets.