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Rob Dunlavey
Drawing in the 'hood
posted:
Somehow, it clicked this summer and I started drawing stuff around where I live. I've lived in South Natick since 1992 and I've never yet made it a habit to sketch my environs. Why now? I can think of several reasons: I discovered that I needed to draw real things as a respite from imaginary cars, castles and pointy-headed people, bears and children's book ideas. I also found that the drawing helped discipline my looking into something useful that gave me a sense of calm and accomplishment. Life can be pretty crazy (now more than ever) and focused drawing is exactly what any sensible doctor would proscribe for an illustrator/artist/whatever-person.
Since I'm an early bird, one place I'd frequently end up is at a nearby park by the river. I'd grab a coffee at the Charles River coffee shop and with colored pencils poking out at odd angles from my pockets I'd stalk my prey. At this park there's a low dam across the river and an island just below. Beyond that there's an old stone bridge and the 20-odd miles of river to Boston. Ducks, geese and other animals love the place.
Another fact that help me stay interested in this project (wait, did I say this was a project??) was that I blogged about this obsession over at my other blog. If you go there, you'll see a few more drawings and also find gleanings from my inscrutable thought processes about Nature and Art that somehow didn't seem appropriate for Drawger. Maybe I'm mistaken though.
Geese endlessly preen as they stand on the top of the dam in June.

By July, the water is getting pretty low.

I found that colored pencils worked just great. I use hard and soft ones and I carry a pocket knife to sharpen them.

A partial view of the Pleasant Street bridge. It sustains a lot of rush hour traffic as the settlers in the tony suburbs head off the big city.

I followed this family of ducklings for several months. Not one was lost as far as I know.

More low water views. The mallards scramble up and down the exposed face of the dam and dabble in the algae and slime.

Tropical Storm Earl stops in town and filled the river up again (temporarily) It's flowing too fast for the ducks to forage at the top.

Pretty soon, all this will be a summer memory.


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