The Waterwitch Outboard Motor

At the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, on the Main floor all the way in the back of the good design area, under the stairs that lead up to the abstract expressionists, sits an outboard motor cased in a Lucite box. It is beautiful; silver and shiny in spots and grey industrial metal in others. It is a hierarchy of knobs, tubes, flanges and handles. The motor was designed by John R. Morgan and manufactured by the now defunct Sears, Robuck and Company in Chicago Ill , 1936. It is made of steel aluminum and rubber.

As the MET has a strictly no water media permitted zone, I drew this with Graphite Aquerelle by Faber Castell and a Printing pencil which produced the very darks. I had planned to add water in the cafeteria, but have since decided to leave it as is. It was a very focused sketch with all the engine’s parts weaving in and out under the gas tank and I really enjoyed it in spite of the fact that the pencils were a 4B and 8B making very difficult to keep a sharp line. I don’t often draw in pencil anymore and this drawing made me question why that is.

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Roosters on the lam

Out at the barn adjacent to The MIlleridge Inn, a local restaurant, live a flock of roosters. They sneak under the fencing and chicken wire enclosure and have a gay old time strutting their stuff in the parking lot oblivious to vehicles and gawkers. Due to February weather in NY, I painted these in my mobile studio.

I am becoming rather smitten with these feathery fellows as it really allows me to play with my Rosemary &Co. 1/2″ sword in a very calligraphic way. While it is usual for me to not put down pencil first, in these instances it would be a fool’s errand. They scuttle around so quickly that they would long be gone as I was just getting an indication of the back tails in graphite. Laying down instantaneous color on clean paper in a wet on wet and dry brush manner is my only chance.

One actually flew onto my minivan hood and tried to get onto the roof by climbing the front windshield. I felt like I was in a scene of Hitchcock’s, The Birds, until I saw him sliding down the same windshield; then, it was pretty comical.

As the weather permits, I am sure to go back repeatedly as they are equally fun to paint as they are to watch. Stay tuned for more barnyard antics!

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The Restaurant Barn

So there is a restaurant near me that’s on a compound. It has a little village with a cute ice cream parlor and a gift shoppe or two. On the restaurants other side, it is flanked by a small barnyard. There are a couple of donkeys, a pig or two, several pea hens and a peacock and many roosters in all different sizes and shapes. I had a little time midday and stopped by to paint the barn. This was my first go at it and I am not to displeased, which is a polite way of saying it doesn’t suck. It was an very light red barn so getting the values right was a challenge.

I will return in the near future to have another go at it. There are unresolved issues here and I have enough to keep me up at night without worrying about a barn.


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