Monday, 2 February 2009

The Ecology Park Pond in January

The first month of my new project to draw the Ecology Park Pond through the year has ended. I've produced a lot of new drawings this month so that has to be a good thing. Here's a montage. Strictly speaking it's including images from references taken at the back end of December but to all intents and purposes these are 'January output' so I feel good about that.

The Ecology Park Pond series - December 2008 and January 2009
top row:
(left) #1
Lily Pad Pond from Canal View Bridge - looking towards Tow Path Platform;
(right) #2 The Willows behind Dog Walker Bridge from the southern edge of Lily Pad pond
Middle row:
#3Canal View Bridge and Moor Hen Pond 2nd January 2009
(Right) #4 26th The Willows across Moor Hen Pond 26th December 2006
bottom row:
(left) #5 - Willow Pond, 21st January 2009;
(right) #6 - Moor Hen Pond from the roof of the Ecology Centre 29th January 2009

The amazing thing is I'm just not getting at all bored by it. In fact I keep finding more and more views to do and am getting more and more out of it.

Last week I discovered the views of the Ponds from the roof of the Ecology Pavilion - it has a path on top! For some reason I've never been up there before - probably because I always approach the ponds from the towpath side. Looking down from the top was rather exciting - and resulted in #6 which you can see above. I was mentally working out how nice it must be to be up there one day in summer!

Benefits of the project after one month: I decided to make a list and keep this under review at the end of each month.
  • Improvement in observation: I'm looking much more carefully at the subject matter - observation at different times of day, different light and different weather (I'm looking out shoes which will be safe enough for me to walk up there today to see it in snow!)
  • Improved water awareness I'm getting much better at seeing and understanding how water works when it is in a relatively still setting - plus I learned an awful lot about ice earlier last month!
  • Developing photography skills - besides taking reference photos of the pond which help me think through compositions, I've also really enjoyed starting the set of photographs which are all about Textures of the vegetation around the pond - artwork in their own right!
  • Preparation and thinking for linocuts: I'm beginning to see how some of the references I've got of the vegetation and the surface of the water will work well in linocuts which I'm going to try very soon.
  • Colour awareness : I'm developing a real appreciation of the colours of January and winter - something which I just haven't had before
  • Twitcher tendencies: I'm getting very fond of the birds - which was something I wasn't expecting at all. I'm beginning to notice their habits and what they like to do. I can see a sequence of drawings on the implosion to the surface caused by coots diving for weed! I was also very puzzled by the raucous noise one male mallard was making up the far end of Willow Pond on my last visit - until I was stood the other side of the pond and realised I must have been standing right next to where he and his beloved are making a nest for their babies. There was lots of scooting in and out of where I'd been photographing vegetation! The mute swans who normally live on the canal are fun as well and very sociable and come to visit while I'm there.
  • Increased output: Besides the six coloured pencil drawings (all 36cm x 26cm) you can see up above, I've also got two more drawings on the go at present which will be added into the January month on my website! Plus I can see more I'd like to do.
In future I'll be doing a summary shortly after the end of each month of all the work done in that month - irrespective of which month it actually belongs to in the time series - and then sort out the artwork into the different months in the website galleries - see Ecology Park Pond Series - Drawings by Katherine Tyrrell

I now need to go away and place a large order for more Arches HP blocks!


Jeanette Jobson said...

I love your explorations of the pond Katherine. THe colours are so soft and pastel, reflecting winter light.

Its amazing what you see when you revisit the same place over and over. Seems you also will have some bird friends to incorporate as well in future pieces.

annie said...

I do like this series,Katherine.The reflections and light in the water continue to fascinate. And it is so
helpful when you folks share your thinking and work processes.

vivien said...

it's building into a great series - do they have an exhibition space to show them there at the end of a year???

Sarah said...

ooh Katherine, I am arrested, these are really lovely, very delicate yet strong, love theicy water, abd the vivid reflections, fab

Gesa said...

Hm, I AM envious. These sketches are great. I in particular like the way you make use of erasing. The removal, with all that it leaves, and how it relates/interacts with the surrounding presence of colour and marks works very well.
Vivien's idea of exhibiting there sounds great too!

Lindsay said...

I agree with Vivien. YOu need to book a place to show them! Maybe if there is a facility right near the pond? These are very rich.

Pam Johnson Brickell said...

I can feel the crispness in the air when I view these wonderful pieces. The water in #'s 2 and 5 is stunning. I wish I could see these pieces in person.

I love your unexpected fondness for birds. Observing waterbirds is very habit forming :)

Laura Frankstone said...

Just stunning. Quite an achievement.

Cathy Gatland said...

This is a very beautiful series - so cold and icy! It's wonderful when a subject draws you in like that.