Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Residency #1: June 14, morning

I went out to TES Farm to get a signal and paint something small and quick since I was scheduled to work with day camp kids at Noon.

I pulled into the well hidden drive whose slope I've traveled many times now. When I got only about 10 feet in, there were milkweed plants in full bloom. I'd never seen one in bloom, and these were fantastic! I'd been out there the day before to test some drawing materials in a new sketchbook. I drew milkweed then in Senelier Bistre ink, with a brush, as I couldn't get the reed pen to release the ink onto the paper. Next I added watercolor, which I felt ruined my drawing. Maybe it was the blue color that seems out of place, or just being tired after having survived four thunderstorms while painting at the bottom of the gorge earlier in the day (story yet to be told).

I decided to paint the milkweed in bloom, working in oil on linen panel for 2 hours, and see how much of the painting I could get finished. But first, I'd take some photos. I'd seen a large Daddy Long Legs on the underside of one leaf. And there were fireflies, and later honey bees and bumblebees, working these plants. But I was amazed by the number of DLL arachnids all on one flower.

I got out my field guide last night and discovered what I had seen was not a spider. They are called Harvestmen, in a class with mites and ticks. Harmless, eight legs, which by the way, can drop off away from the body if you grab one!!!!

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