Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tough Job but...

 "Autumn Along Jordan Creek"
8.5X12" - color pencil drawing - art work © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view)

Autumn was different here this year.  We had early, but not complete leaf drop.  Poor color, mostly brown due to the warm and dry weather.  Then by the last week of October, what was left around here did turn color.  Never been colors to this extent, this late...not that I can remember any way.  Now the leaves are passing and dropping.

I'm not sure I'm ready for this!  The bare landscape I mean...well, also the cold weather.  It does keep me inside and working though, maybe that's a good thing.

I just finished another color pencil piece, this one a little larger than usual for me.  I was discussing work time with someone on color pencil pieces like this yesterday and they asked me how long this piece was taking.  I'm not on the clock so much except in my head and I just guessed 7-9 weeks.  Well, I was off some, it took 6 instead. It just seemed so long!

"Autumn Along Jordan Creek" is from the "neighborhood" again.  This scene is actually about 4 miles southwest of the studio.  Jordan creek is very small in stature and eventually runs into the Waterman about 4-5 miles from this spot.  Its the kind of creek you could jump across in spots when you were a kid, and maybe just get your shoes muddy in trying to do so.  Its also the kind of creek you could still enjoy exploring, wading and catching frogs.  Its a cool little creek.

They weren't doing so the day I stopped by, but the small stunted Ash trees are assuredly the preferred shade for the local grazing herd of cattle during the hot oppressive days of summer.  In fact I took shelter in shade much like this and waded little creeks like this for hot summer afternoon relief many, many years ago and that's the kind of artwork I like to spend long hours on.  Hey, its a tough job but somebody has gotta do it!

Come by the studio some time this winter when you long for some cooling shade and a wade down the creek!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Indian Summer

"Mid October Along Waterman"
photograph © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view) 

I've visited Indian Summer in past blogs, its such a bitter sweet time of the year (as memories of Indian Summers past are as well).  I can't get over the transformation the landscape undergoes at this time either.  Here, its been very dry, not like drought stricken areas in the south and southwest but dry for "here"; nearly no rain of consequence since July...none measurable here at Prairie Hill Farm since August or early September.

I looked forward to walking the Waterman when fall took hold in the valley here, but it was so dry and windy for an extended period that the leaves simply dried up, turned brown and dropped!  That is when the landscape takes on a new character and visually becomes more elusive for "me".  

I like this time of the year.  I enjoy time in the warm sun with a cool/crisp air about, making things very pleasant.  A good hike doesn't seem as taxing in the fall...the usual tormenting entourage of insects have "mostly" abated.  Birds are moving through; the music is different but contemplative.  

On the day this image was taken, the banks and sand bars were hopping with small Eastern Chorus Frogs out sunning themselves, basking in the warmth of an Indian Summer day.  I haven't seen that in many years...what good fortune for me!  

Eastern Bluebirds lined the fence lines when I come up upon a field; their sweet understated conversations were relayed down the line from post to post, wire to wire.  What pleasantry!  

A Beaver dam came into view and I walked around and above it...there laid the cache, or beginnings of one for their winter storage.  It wasn't a high dam but the pool behind was substantial...I'd watched two Beaver downstream from here about 3 weeks earlier, I'm sure this is their lair. 

I followed all kinds of tracks along the creek all the way back to the road, a section of ground away; its been a long walk...I hope its not too long before the next one!
Happy Indian Summer, may there be many more days to enjoy before the snow flies!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Real Fun of It!

 "September Morning on the Waterman"
photograph © Bruce A. Morrison

I'm going to do something I haven't done before now - post the same blog 3 times!  I do 2 blogs for the Artisans Road Trip and I think I want to say the same thing for my own studio blog as well.

Thank you to everyone who took in the 2011 Artisans Road Trip weekend on 9/30/11 through 10/2/11! It was a win-win for everyone out there! The "road trippers" had a very nice weekend of things to do and see, and the artists received some support for their efforts, got to meet new people and had fun showing off their wares and works!

And I'm no exception - I really enjoy showing off the studio here along the Waterman Creek valley south of B40.  Its a beautiful scenic location and so many new visitors are very surprised its here and they never knew about it!  That's the real fun of A.R.T.!

That's the case with all facets and artists of A.R.T. - there's a pleasant surprise around every corner!  Unique studios and galleries, one of a kind works and memorable travels around our beautiful corner of the state!

Thank you for supporting the Arts in NW Iowa!