Friday, October 13, 2006

Sunday 17th September: Rocky Neck and Rockport, Massachusetts

The tree without a name
9" x 12", coloured pencil on Saunders Waterford HP
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

This is the first time I've had both blogs with the same image - but I rather like this one!

On Sunday, I had another bright and sunny day and took a trip across to Cape Ann which is a peninusula north of Boston - and just north of Marblehead. It's home to:
  • Rockport - a seacoast village with a harbour which is home to the world famous Motif No 1 painted by many artists over the years and reputed to be the most painted subject in North America and
  • Rocky Neck which is said to have the oldest working art colony in North America at 200 years old
Rocky Neck is an on the periphery of Gloucester and was to all intents and purposes closed - at least for for lunch - although most of the galleries seemed to be open or planning on opening. I was rather disappointed as I hadn't brought anything for lunch. Luckily I caught the tail end of Sailor Stan's breakfast where I sketched the enormous sunflower growing in front of this cafe (left)

There's a good car park (not too busy in the morning) between the main bit of the Cape and the little peninsula called Rocky Neck. After my brunch I walked back to the car park and then crossed the road and also did a sketch looking out east across the bay (below). The sun was hidden by a haze at this point and it was one of those times where you end up looking for the colours in an awful lot of very muted areas within the subject!

Rocky Neck, look east
8" x 10", pencil and coloured pencil in Moleskine sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

The town of Rockport and its harbour area were incredibly busy later in the afternoon and parking was very difficult so I had to head a little way out of town along the coast to the adjacent bay just north of the main centre of Rockport and its harbour area. There was a great beach, parking spaces and - joy of joys "facilities" - always a godsend to the middleaged female artist who loses time and thinks they have no need of "facilities" until they get up for the last time and pack up at which point the bladder lets you know exactly what needs to happen next! I've learned to suss out where the 'facilities' are before I sit down!

This is the set up just before I packed up - all the sunbathers had gone home and it was about 5pm.

This is the lighter weight sketching kit - folding chair; backpack with the two pencil cases - warms and cools and pens and pencils and battery powered sharpener plus sketchbook, block of Saunders waterford and camera.

The sketch (click for a larger image) is how far I got while sketching plein air. I focused on catching the colours I needed to remind me of what was there. Accuracy as to shapes was of less importance. I also tried to give some sort of sense of relative vales - but didn't try to complete the value range in the time. What I got done was enough for me to be able to complete it at home. I got a lot of compliments from the locals passing by, one of whom commented that his son has tried painting the tree three times - and he thought mine was very nice! All were, as usual, mightily intrigued by the coloured pencils and what could be done with them.

The image at the top of the post is the worked up version of my plein air sketch which has been built up on top of the original sketch.

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  1. "tree without name" is such a fine,decent and tasteful drawing.
    Also the others are beautiful,bright and light. Very inspiring.

  2. Thanks Martin

    I think I might well call this one Motif No 2 given that's it's in Rockport, home of "Motif No 1" and that a number of the locals told me it got drawn/painted pretty often!


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