|"Big Bluestem in Bloom" - color pencil drawing - © Bruce A. Morrison|
Archival Works Friday (Yes I Know It's Saturday!)
As I mentioned before - I'll post a painting, drawing or serigraph (silkscreen prints) from the "archive" files of years past...and give a little back story on the work. I hope you'll find it interesting! Posting the first Friday of the month...
This Archival Works day is a color pencil drawing...my use of this medium dates back to the early 1960's. My first "Side Walk Art Fair" participation in Ft. Dodge, IA had all color pencil drawings; I think I was about 12 years old at the time and I only remember one of
them...probably a "self preservation" mechanism so I won't still be traumatized by how bad they must have been!!!!
The subject in the highlighted drawing "Big Bluestem in Bloom" is related to my 2 1/2 decade infatuation with "Prairies". I don't think my love of prairies is a very well kept secret - having been involved in prairie projects from the college level, public entities, and private consulting. Georgie has referred to me as "Prairie Boy" to many folks over the years (Ha!). Ya, well that's sure not where she found me - but yes, stuff happens doesn't it.
When we found the acreage here 20 years ago, it was the perfect fit for us...we had a few trees and a small bit of wooded habitat with nice spring ephemerals, and some great hillside gravel slopes with actual native prairie remnants...something that has become less easy to find in Iowa...only less than one half of one percent of this state's original prairies still exist. This little spot may not be on the super quality charts but even places like ours are disappearing much too frequently.
Something that I was hoping for in our little spot in the former tallgrass prairie was a place to work and play...it has lived up to my hopes yet has so much further to go. But we all have a lifespan...we're just making the best of what this "gift" of time has presented us. I always wanted to just walk out the door in the morning...or heck "anytime", and wander with the camera or paint brush, and record native prairie plant communities and the fauna
found there. It has been a wonderful gift! Every day here is a blessing! I found myself not just photographing forbs (wildflowers) and grasses, but also painting and drawing them.
When I'm out and about on the pastures, I often video tape things as I'm photographing them...video is just a side hobby now...I used to do video taping and editing for educational institutions, government agencies and non-profits, for part of my living, but no longer - it's simply something fun to do now.
The drawing in question...
One morning in mid summer I was out early on the pasture photographing things in the first light of the day. The flowers and grasses, insects and birds...the usual. Later I was in the studio downloading files and editing images and sorting through the morning's video footage. As I was watching footage I came to a frame that I'd only recorded - a lot of times I'm easily distracted and forget to take stills (photographs) also (and vice versa). There was an image from the video that grabbed me - "That'd make a great color pencil drawing!".
"Big Bluestem in Bloom" - color pencil drawing was born from a still frame in the video footage.
I have since been inspired many times in a like manner from other footage as well in past years...some landscapes, some flora and fauna.
If you've followed me this far and haven't nodded off or just plain zoned out and left, I'm going to leave a link here for a video I edited together 9 years back...it's of a walk down Waterman Creek about 5 miles south of the studio. During this walk I was inspired to paint two landscapes from the footage you'll watch. The video is here -
After you watch this video, go to my web site at the following link, it will take you to my Archived Works page. There are two oil paintings there that were inspired from footage in the video. The link is here -
(I'm really making this too easy!)
The first person that gives me the name of one of the 2 paintings inspired by footage in this video, will win a free signed print of that painting. Just the first person, responding to this story...just give me "one" of the painting titles and you win!
Thanks for hanging in there and good luck! (See you next month!)