Saturday, April 2, 2011
I only have 8 illustrations to do this time, and over the years I have learned how to focus and drive myself to finish stages of an illustration within a given time. But even so, having someone read to me is a tremendous help. The gradual work of applying washes to build the iridescence of the pearly nacre and fine details of hinge teeth and growth lines requires only part of my brain, so if I have something interesting to listen to it keeps the rest of my mind still and patient, sort of anaesthetized, so that it doesn't interfere with the work.
Since this contract is brief but intense, Fred is doing all he can to keep me at the painting. He's reading aloud to me, making delicious soups, and keeping the kitchen fire burning under steaming pots of Maple sap on their way to becoming syrup. The book I've selected is Bernd Heinrich's "The Snoring Bird"- a biologist's family history through both world wars and beyond, from Poland to the USA - in many ways more exciting for us than the classic "Doctor Zhivago".
The watercolour I'm working on above is the Kidneyshell, Ptychobranchus fasciolaris, and the one to the left, photographed in progress, is Obovaria subrotunda, the Round Hickorynut.
Posted by Aleta Karstad at 12:03 AM