Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ink pencils for Spring

So off we went this morning, my ink pencils and I, to the dam (surprise, surprise!) and after a ten minute walk I found a spot where the rising sun didn't blind me and the tender new green outfits of the willows were on display. I scribbled and washed, scribbled and washed, getting some rather startling results as the water mixed with the crayon - dark areas went lighter and murkier, subtle blends became shockingly bright and garish - which really, those new leaves are, but are so tiny and delicate in nature that they don't look it - unlike when I try to paint them. So I'm not at all sure about the crayons... I liked the black one for this sketch of a hadeda who came with a friend for a bath right next to me... but the colours are very tricky to manage.
The birds flapped off squawking raucously, as they do, when a helicopter flew overhead. There is a joke that goes 'Why do hadedas make such a noise when they take off?'.... 'Because they're afraid of heights!' That struck me as enormously funny when I first heard it, but maybe you have to know them.

11 comments:

Maree said...

The Willow colours are so true to life Cathy. Lovely. And I absolutely LOVE the Hadedas, my grand-daughter says they make her think of me.

Cathy Gatland said...

Oh Maree! are you that noisy? ;-D They are such characters, but I'm trying to persuade them not to nest in our garden... at 5 in the morning and the evening, you can't hear yourself think!

Helen Percy Lystra said...

I don't find them too garish; willows are that green here in early spring. As for the Hadedas, I love the sketch but am not familiar with the bird.

Corryna Janssen said...

I love this painting/drawing. It is a place where I would love to be. So peaceful. Well done. The bird is beautiful too.

Charlene Brown said...

I think you've handled the colours beautifully -- spring green in slanting sun is supposed to glow! And the dam is looking as lovely as ever. BTW, I know that by 'dam' you (and the Australians, and maybe everybody in the world but Canadians) mean the water, but I always think of the 'dam' as the earth holding it back.

Cathy Gatland said...

Hello Helen - the birds are indigenous African - we didn't have them in Joburg until about 20 years ago, when we had an infestation of horrible huge crickets - the hadedas got rid of them, thank goodness!

Thanks Corryna - it was peaceful until the helicopter came!

Hi Charlene - I guess strictly speaking it is the earth or wall holding it - but what do you call the water then, a lake? The spring greens are very bright and glowing, I just put too much of it!

Vivienne said...

Ooooh the colours are lovely. Such atmosphere with the sun shining through the spring green, and then that murky old dam. I miss the hadedas. Best memory of them in East London, tugging those enormously long grey earthworms,spaghetti style, without enough height or leverage to get them out of their holes.
Sacred Ibis getting quite an urban foothold over here though.

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Lovely post bringing back memories of the hadedas flying over my hosts gardens as evening set in making that - yes I agree - raucous sound. Like the joke.
Must have been a lovely time by the water creating your charming coloured sketch.

Cathy Gatland said...

Hi Vivienne - I missed seeing the EL hadedas and the giant earthworms - I think that was their original habitat before moving throughout the country. We're seeing a few more sacred ibis here too.

Joan, it's an unforgettable sound isn't it - one that still makes my sister in USA teary-eyed when she hears it over the phone!

RHCarpenter said...

Loved the sketches and the joke about the hededas (never heard of that bird but from the sound of it, may not want to! ha ha).
It's fun to get out some new sketching tools - how are you liking the Inktense? I am using them on yupo now and blending and scribbling - fun!

Cathy Gatland said...

Hi Rhonda - the verdict is still out on the Inktense - I need to spend some time experimenting - on yupo must be interesting. I like their intensity, but once put down, they stay put!