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Drawing in the woods

Sketch on location, September 25, 2020

I received four drawing pads yesterday. I ordered them online. It took longer than expected for them to arrive and two of six didn’t arrive. I am happy as I have nearly exhausted my paper supply. I also ordered and received a quart of Higgins waterproof ink. The pads that I received from Dick Blick are 12″ x 18″ and 14″ x 17″.

The above drawing is the first page of a twenty four page pad. The most difficult decision was picking a spot to draw. There are so many, where I live. I just walk out the door and in all directions are my favorite places to draw. Today, I let my intuition guide me until I have walked far enough. I set up with my make shift camera tripod, portable drawing table.

Being in the woods during an extraordinary fall day is special in itself. When I take a drawing pad with me, I find instant fulfillment. Feeling blessed to be experiencing the remarkable bounty of nature, inspiration is abundant. So, how does one come to terms with drawing in the complex woods?

I kept reminding myself that I cannot be too serious. I must follow my instincts while contemplating all the choices before me. What value, what brush, what to look at, what is calling my attention and what am I missing. With all these questions running though my head, I eventually settle down and slowly forget there are any questions and begin responding to the scene in front of me. As I move through time, I relax and try to make the sketch pad and the scene it represents related in some aspects.

Making the drawing look like the scene is just too big of a task. It is the beauty that I am responding to and bearing witness is my intent. I do this with black ink and white paper, a little water and some old brushes that could use replacing. This is all OK with me. Each brushstroke brings a different type of emotion. I often feel that I have wrecked the whole thing and suddenly it comes back and so it goes to a point where one just decides enough is enough.

I really enjoy making these woods drawings. Today, I took short breaks and wandered around a bit as the ink dried. I saw so many other places where I could set up, that were so inspiring. In my mind I played out how I would begin, what are the big shapes, how to organize the composition. But most of all, just looking, slowing down enough to be receptive to what is before me and being grateful for the opportunity to be in my favorite place, the woods, is always the most wonderful part.

September Bliss

The air is sublime. 70ºF. Southern Maine coastal area. Blue sky. Post summer day.

I have been working occasionally in my studio. The paintings in progress are without a frame. I have not stretched them but have unrolled canvas, gessoed the surface with three coats and begun painting.

The painting below encourages me to consider the title, “no place special.” It is 32″x 26″. However, I think, for now, it will be titled, “Upon Arrival.”

Upon Arrival, oil painting on canvas
“Upon Arrival,” oil on canvas, 32″ x 26″

Quick Comes Night

I have worked on this painting for many months. I think it is now teetering on being finished. Time will tell, but here it is.

oil painting, yellow, green, gray and cool tones
Quickly Comes Night 28″ x 22″ oil on canvas

Rating: 1 out of 5.

I stumbled upon this video of David Shrigley on YouTube. I liked it and am sharing.

Hot Summer or Story of a King

I don’t usually title paintings. But this just came to me as I was working on it. Maybe it isn’t even finished. It is difficult to know. I just arrived here on a perfect summer day. Unexpectedly.

Oil Paintings
“On a Hot Summer day, or the Story of a King,” 32″ x 28″ oil on canvas

I currently have several greenish paintings in progress. This one sort of stood up and said, “hey, you! over here, I need some work.” So, I relented. I thought of my many fine friends while trying to clear my thoughts as I worked. At the same time welcoming everything. Working opposites and conceding to order. Painting is a process of liberation at its best, for me.

Goodbye old website

Kevin Freeman
Kevin S. Freeman, outside of Cape Neddick, Maine studio

You have reached my website. I am sad my previous website, that you may have found at this address was not compatible with itself. So, it would not function. While I have tried to restore the original contents it is far to ambitious of a project to do all at once, for me.

I am starting new and will slowly add some of the older images and paintings. Be warned, if you are thinking of creating a WordPress website, they are not for the faint of heart.

Kevin Freeman