Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sketch - rounded repetition

This time, I sketched on a break while mountain biking - a faster exercise than hiking, so one misses details. But equally strenuous and energizing. Plus, I did a near rock-climb in cycling shoes, just to see if there was anything to sketch up on top - nope, just a big view and no injuries. 

My last break in the shade of a huge granite boulder looked grim, until I moved to my right. Voila!
Looking NE, barely in the shade of a Oneseed Juniper (cooler under it)

Gentler slope means thicker grasses (Black Grama, Sideoats Grama, Bush
Muhley), and it includes rounded granite boulders, mounded Desert Live Oak,
rounded and mounded low prickly pears, a lone Pinon, and some Tree Cholla.

And an odd cloud for summer, almost lenticular.

My take on it - repetition of rounded, mounded forms, all softened by wiry desert
grassland grasses, and framed by dark oaks and a dark blue sky.

Again, the bouldery top of the near hill read as more pointed to my sketching. But
the simplicity of forms, and soft and sharp, really ruled and inspired.

Next week out, I hope to bring a different pen or pencil, and figure out how to
portray the oaks and chollas better. Given they are everywhere, I will have
plenty of practice!



18 comments:

  1. Gorgeous sky, looks like a beautiful day if a bit hot.

    The rounded forms really jump out when you sketch. Cholla is repeating parallel lines and drawing the same line twice is a challenge for a quick sketch.

    The hill on the left looks like a stone delivery where some tumbled off the top.

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    1. Exactly...glad I found a shady spot! I had no idea the round forms would jump at me...I think another pen or pencil will help me with all these chollas. That hill did come out more like a pile, though the process that created it probably was, as well - the steepness was part perception (I was resting from some grueling riding), part my own challenge with scale, and part what it felt like with the oaks and looking up.

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  2. This could be such a great idea to approaching design. I think it could provide a great means for a natural inspiration to a planned garden. Nature informing design ...

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    1. Exactly why I'm doing it. I think I get lost in the process of design, meeting - and not very well - deadlines, and plan documents, I forget about the simplicity of what it is I'm doing and to have fun, and not have to redo everything over to reduce it to something better.

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  3. I agree with the point Louis makes. Nature usually does it best! Unfortunately, I have a hard time restraining my palette and fill my beds with too much variety. What ca I say? Every plant is my favorite!

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    1. I also struggle with that restraint...I just like great, tough plants! But happy I have a small lot, or I would go berserk. Hence my reason to practice restraint or reductionism on plantings, and design elements...getting there!

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  4. I love the sketch and the fact that you are sketching and already looking to improve your equipment. GREAT!! I am looking for more.

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    1. Why, thank you! I figure I'll see what works best, then just wing it and take whatever with me, and get inspired.

      I discovered last week, that my deadlines and design didn't get done any more when I skipped working out, hiking, etc all week, and worked instead. So this will probably be weekly!

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  5. You are a brave brave man. But what an artist! I'm afraid my hand at art isn't so um....good:) Glad you're getting some exercise. I really have tried....tomorrow I'm getting up super early and leaving Tucson for some much needed hiking. This heat is too much. Hope you are enjoying all the rains over there:) I saw it all on the news.....but we'll get it back our way this weekend:)

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    1. Next time, only with my hiking boots on!

      Thanks - I'm sticking with all the mountain bike-hike stuff, and it helps clear the head, too. At least we're not getting that humid or warm, actually quite nice compared to what July-August can be. I think 4000' elevation is the magic line of where it's comfortable now...enjoy your hike and time off!

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  6. Not only are you a great landscape architect but also a wonderful sketcher. I guess the two go hand in hand as my son also seems to have similar talents and he studied architecture. No one does the garden better than nature and we do well to look at how she sets the whole stage. We are on the road again and my eyes are always turned to what I am seeing out there. Yesterday we visited The gardens at Grand Junction. Boy, was it hot!

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    1. Thanks! I figure one task and help the other, the more I do it. Especially when I switch from ballpoint pens to something more friendly!!

      Grand Jct can be hot - I have an engineer friend there into various desert plants and even some hardy palms. I must get up there soon, but too busy down here. If I were there doing that, I might take a day and go up to Aspen and take in an evening at their music festival and cool off!

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  7. Some time ago you mentioned, repetition, in me garden as pragmatic, in the context i do my practice. I was somehow surprised, but never questioned
    the reason, it is evident. Now, long time after those words I am convinced, repetition of this or that in any gardening practice creates a belonging in the chosen plants, creating a sensation of natural flow.

    A repetition, found naturally in wild contexts, enhancing the man made
    installation.

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    1. Very well-stated, Signore Cajanelli (!!). The wild and the built really have much to say about each other.

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  8. What a beautiful drawing! Putting a scene to paper allows us to focus on each element and see them especially clearly.

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    1. Gracias - it's funny how simple the best spaces are when you pause to really see them. Maybe a lesson in not just design, but in life, too?

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  9. Nice concept with the reality of the photo and your interpolation with the drawing.

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    1. Hopefully, I can then do my 3rd part - making such things real in my design work!

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