Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The long goodbye

charcoal and conte crayon
The continuous dry ground from summer into winter is a bonus for outdoor sketching; Pyrrhic advantage. I returned with charcoal to the dying pines on the Ridge Trail nearby. I take pics or draw ‘em. Their dying is such a long process! They are stark, magnificent --yet hard to identify with as a role model for dying. It's not Hollywood's one big bad scene, it's a years-long indignity, visible from all sides of the ridge. Bark slips off at a near-geologic pace. A broken limb catches on its ailing neighbor. Eventually the neighbor goes down.
Last year, I hung several of these trees’ portraits downtown alongside portraits of the Palace Hotel: Wealth, two ways. SF architecture drawings sold; dead trees – not so much! Back to drawings of built space, happy customers, coordinated materials. The hired pen wants to wander. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Not as Advertised

The weather reports said no snow, so it was unusually crowded for after-Xmas. Day-visitors in flip-flops. This is year #4 of drought. Yhe falls at Yosemite were reduced to a trickle this January, a glaze of frost on an adjacent ledge. NPS' foreign guests will post selfies of this and buy postcards of the falls the way they used to be. My plein air excursion happened, but what a sorry sight.