New Works is a September session at Haystack at which previous instructors are invited to work on their own projects. It's a wonderful time of meeting other artists, observing their creative practice, and working together in studios for four days, and for a landscape artist there's the additional excitement of living in a unique coastal environment. I was surprised by my activity since I usually gravitate toward the water, rocks, and distant vistas, but here I was captivated by the surrounding woods. My first drawing of trees from the studio on the rainy afternoon I arrived seemed to set the tone for the entire experience.
First drawing, Charcoal, 9x12
The last morning as others packed up and left, I remained in the studio for a few more hours responding with sketches and more developed drawings.
Last drawing, Charcoal, 22x18
During the time between I found many variations of complex spaces as I walked and observed.
Conte crayon, 20x29
The glacial erratics are a signature element of the Maine coast, and Haystack has some stellar examples scattered along the shore and throughout its woods.
Graphite on yupo, 18x24
Graphite on yupo, 11x14
The coast there is distinctive and stunning for its large granite boulders and sandy pocket beaches. I enjoyed walking and swimming in those areas and making occasional sketches.
But I always returned to the woods where I tried to figure out how I saw the space. Quick charcoal gesture studies helped me to internalize my subject and sometimes provided me with structure for a more developed drawing or painting. Negative space, rhythm and movement, and limited marks of essential forms were my focus during this intense four day session.