I once lived in the shadow of the Helderberg Escarpment—a great sweep of limestone cliffs and slopes that rise west of Albany, New York. I hiked its trails, crawled inside its caves, rode my bike along its base, felt the fierceness of its winter winds, and ate the fruit of farms and orchards that spread out in the valley below. Needless-to-say, I miss it. This page was inspired by my affection for the Helderberg landscape and a photo taken from a high altitude balloon. The balloon was launched last June by my… Read More
It can be hard to find the time for art when life gets busy. A whole painting or even an entire journal page can seem impossible to undertake. So I made a grid on these pages in the hope that I would be able to fill smaller spaces over the course of several days. As it turned out, I drew the entire two-page spread during an hour-long hike, pausing every so often to do a quick sketch when something caught my eye. Done directly in pen, each sketch took no more than… Read More
Outside: seven degrees, wind chill minus 15F, bright winter sun. Inside the car: warm enough so that I didn’t see my breath, warm enough so that the watercolors didn’t freeze, warm enough to take my gloves off. A temporary win. After weeks of being inside, I was determined to try my hand at painting in the car. It’s less than ideal by any measure, but not without merit. The end result is a little muddy and overworked, but not bad for an hour’s outing on a frigid day.
I was drawn to the golden orbs of the horsenettle while hiking last week in an old field on the edge of an orchard. Bright spots of yellow against faded, brown grasses and dried wildflowers, I decided to take a stem home to paint. Upon identification, I was not surprised to learn that the plant is invasive and unwanted, as are many plants that grow in the weedy margins of fields. Still, I love the way the fruit drapes from the tendrilous vines and there is something ironic, yet masterful in a… Read More
If donuts don’t immediately strike you as artistic subjects, you’re not alone. I got a few passing glances from the staff of the farm café and bakery when I sat down with my hot cider and bag of donuts and proceeded to paint them. Fortunately, it was an hour from closing time and the café was pretty deserted, so I sat contentedly savoring the quiet moment. This page illustrates what I like best about keeping an artist journal. Freed from the pressure of making a “finished” piece of artwork, my journal is… Read More
Indian Ladder Farms is a much beloved place in our community. Few people I know haven’t picked the farm’s apples in fall, brought their kids to pet baby animals as a rite of spring, or eaten their share of cider donuts over the years. We’ve watched outdoor community theatre under the backdrop of orchard and escarpment, picked out our Christmas trees in winter, and frequented the farm’s gift shop for birthdays and special occasions. Indian Ladder Farms has been in operation since 1915 and it is treasured by generations. Why I’ve never… Read More