Saturday, January 27, 2007

Water Tower Sketches from Apex, NC

Sitting on the hard ground, in the cold, this morning was a far stretch from sitting on the beach of Daufuskie Island. But Grayson and I decided we wanted to go out sketching so we went.

Grayson sketches turned out much better than mine and I should be posting his instead.

This first sketch is the Tipper Tie water tower. I guess Tipper Tie has it's own water tower because this one is right behind their building. Plus it has Tipper Tie written on it.

Tipper Tie operates a full scale aluminum wire mill here, which includes wire drawing, annealing, etching, spooling and coiling to customers' specifications. (I had to look all that up ;)

We found two more water towers. Apex has at least three. There is another one right next to this one in downtown near the train station.

Next Saturday, Grayson and I have decided that we are going to sketch the geese and the trains downtown.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Sketches from Daufuskie Island

The only way onto Daufuskie Island is by ferry. There is no bridge so you can’t drive. In fact, the ferry only takes people, not cars. Most transportation on the island is handled by golf cart and as you can see in this sketch, horse. I sketch this horse while they were saddling him up for me to ride.

This sketch was drawn sitting on the beach of Daufuskie, looking across the water to Hilton Head, SC. And look, my favorite. A water tower :)

Last year they had about 80 turtle nests on this beach. I want to go back in the summer either during nesting or hatching.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Super Hero

Every Super Hero has a secret identify. It’s time to reveal the truth about Pony.

Pony Wombat started out not as the third grade hero of the chapter book Pony Wombat and the Second Ark, but as a bass player in an 80’s band called the Wombats.

(Buried in Blue 1987. Pony, third from the left in white shirt)

The Wombats was a three-piece band whose members originated from an earlier blues band called Buried in Blue. In Ramones style, each member took on the last name wombat. There was Kevin Wombat, Tommy Wombat and Ian (aka) Pony Wombat.

The band recorded a demo and made good touring clubs in Westchester NY as well as NYC. Venues such as The Crazy Horse, and the now closed Fore N’ Aft were regulars on the list. In March of 1989 the band played their most prominent gig at CBGB’s and OMFUG. However, the Bangles, who were also touring that week, played the Beacon Theater robbing the Wombats blind of patrons who would have otherwise gone to CBGB’s.

In 1991 the members of the band went their separate ways. The original guitarists from Buried in Blue regrouped and are currently playing clubs in the Westchester area. Roger, drummer for both BIB and the Wombats owns Loria Awards in Yonkers NY. He is currently working on a drum project. And Pony, well he became a third grade hero.

(Pony Wombat 1988)

Ian Sands will be reading excepts from Pony Wombat and the Second Ark on Story Night at Chick-fill-a in RTP,NC on March 20th 2007.

Listen to a Wombat song:

The Wombats - Gesibel's Angel.mp3

1988 recording on a Wombat original.

Use To Be A Wombat.mp3

Solo project by Pony. All the lyrics were taken from old Wombats songs and reassembled to create this unique tune.

What Angels Came To Say.mp3

Studio version of a Christmas song recorded by the band Karen Ray. Written by former Wombat member, Pony.
Georgetown, SC
From our adventure to Daufuskie Island, SC
Red Water Tower

Halfway to Daufuskie we drove through the third oldest city in South Carolina, Georgetown. The town is built on the water so commercial fishing is a significant industry. However, the first thing I noticed was the array of plants and factories. They stand like rusted prehistoric monsters, steadily billing smoke from their tall stacks.

I would love to spend an entire day sketching in Georgetown. However, Georgetown was only a quick pass on our way to the island. I was able to snap a few photos of what is quickly becoming my favorite subject, the water tower.

Since I'm working fromreference photos, I only consider this work a study. If I was working from sketches, I might have created a more in-depth piece of art.

First step: I apply paint. It’s a mixture of acrylic and watercolors. Sometimes I use a brush but mostly I apply the paint with my fingers and hands.

For the second step, I scribble in areas of color using a combination of oil and chalk pastels. This really lays the foundation for the rest of the work.

After I’m satisfied with the blocked pastel areas I move on to the third step, scribbling with colored pencil. I don’t feel these photos capture the colored pencil very well but the color pencil is really what adds all the detail and makes the final image. Or at least, it’s the part that makes me most happy with the work :)

This is a detail of the finished study. The final image is small (for me), about 1.5' x 2.5'

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Train in the morning light

How about 1880's impressionism?

On saturday I drove by downtown Apex passed the train station. This set of box cars was sitting there. Two engines were stopped further up the line, not connected.

I parked my Jeep, got out and took a walk around. I think trains are really neat looking. they are so big. I liked how the morning light made strong shadows on the cars.

This study is mixed media (paint, pastel and colored pencil). I dub it postmodern impressionism.

detail of train

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Water Tower

This is a study of a water tower, Saturday morning light, downtown Apex, NC.

here's the buzz:
I Read this online
"The basic premise behind postmodern art is that all forms of novelty and rebellion have already been explored, and that even if that weren't true the particular emphasis on rejection of that which is old or already done is only handicapping to an artists self-expression."

So what I get from that is either everything art-wise has already been done (so why bother) or even if that isn't true, the simple fact that it might be true inhibits an artist from creating art.

(Detail of water tower study)

Really what I like to create would be considered Impressionism. But as we all know, Impressionism ended about a hundred and twenty years ago.

Then I thought about the line above and decided maybe I am letting my self-expression be handicapped by the very belief in postmodernism.

Here's another thought. Art "isms", like we had in the twentieth century are equivalent to the MTV generation's view of television. Everything must be new, must be now, must be wow. Don't bore me with something already done because something new is only a mouse click away.

The Renaissance was an art movement that lasted one hundred years yet Fauvism only lasted four years. Egyptian art remained virtually unchanged for 3,000 years yet pop art came and went before I had a chance to pick up my paint brush.

Perhaps modern art movements can last more than a week. Has everything thing that was impressionism been done? Did Monet really cover it all? Or could the movement continue on? Live side by side with other movements. Advance.

it's just a thought.