Wednesday, August 25, 2010


It's a bad weather day here in Maine, good for the trees and grass and ponds but bad for vacationers. I shouldn't complain too much -- we've had more than a week of great weather -- but I am kind of down because the heavy rain and winds are keeping me from heading down to the pebble beach below our rental house, where I have been going pretty much every day since we got here to sketch rocks.

As anyone who has visited the Maine coast can attest, one thing it is not short on by any means is rocks -- rocks of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Beautiful rocks, rocks in fantastic profusion and variety. Harshly-angled, jagged rocks next to sensually rounded rocks, shaped and smoothed by the endless tides.

And I have been having a good time drawing them. My wife has asked "Are you planning on drawing anything other than rocks?" And I do… in fact, I drew a gnarled piece of driftwood a few days ago. But right now, I like drawing these rocks. I enjoy watching an image emerge on the page of white paper as I scratch and scribble, hatch and cross-hatch away with one of the several markers I carry in my shirt pocket.

And the simple fact that I LIKE drawing these rocks is what has given me a new glimmer of hope that the joy I used to feel in drawing anything is slowly beginning to return. It's been a long while since I have spent much time drawing from life, but I am starting to remember how much fun it can be. It can also be incredibly frustrating in equal measure, of course, when you are trying to capture the essence of something real on paper and it just isn't working.

But one of the things I realized, and it came out last week during a conversation with Jeannine after we'd taken a break from eating fried clams, swimming, and gazing at the ocean from the back deck of the house we're renting to travel up to Portland, ME and see the Winslow Homer exhibit, is that I don't need to be so picky about getting everything, all the shapes and textures and other pertinent details, JUST SO. It's something I'd learned a long time ago when I started drawing from life in college, and had kind of forgotten. But as Jeannine in her quiet wisdom so cogently put it, "The world is inspiration, and art is not a mirror."

I'm thinking I will continue this when I get home. There are lots of things to draw in the world, and I am going to try my hand at putting some of them in my sketchbook. -- PL


mikeandraph87 said...

I must admit before reading your previous post I thought of only the mind making shapes with clouds now I look at rocks and shapes are starting to form. You've got my imagination going!:)

Yesterday marked the release of Ninja Turtles:Turtles Forever. Hope everyone gets a copy. Also any further comments from Mr. Laird on the project are more than welcome.

In the meantime wait out the rain Peter and enjoy your stay!

Isaac Fisher said...
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Isaac Fisher said...

Hey There Pete.

Isaac here, sorry I am re-posting this as the link didn't work. I just read your post this evening about your rock drawings. I think this is wonderful news! I am very happy you are enjoying drawing again.

I am commenting because it made me think of a wonderful piece of art I had hanging in my apartment when I was in 3rd year college. It was a massive painting by my aunt. Its about 4 feet by 6 feet, and it is a painting of a very small arrangement of pebbles. She paints with this amazing use of colour, which I have always loved. Anyways here is a link:

Sorry if you have to copy and paste the link if you are interested.

Brookslyn said...
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Brookslyn said...

Sorry there was a typo!

A good exercise might be to sketch something none stationary... like the OCEAN :) There are many ways to express the motion.

twopinacoladas said...

I can just picture the turtles climbing on those rocks ;) keep at it.