Tuesday, July 12, 2011
A Tiger Swallowtail butterfly courses across my scene and lands on a Hobblebush just above my head. There must be birds about too, but I can't hear their songs over the rushing of water. Choosing a spot has been difficult, partly because I'm not sure where the sun and shadows will be
- so first I had to plan my composition structurally rather than tonally, and then did a pencil sketch in my journal to block in the tones when the sun dapples were just right. Then I drew lightly in pencil on my canvas. Finally confident of what my painting should look like nearly an hour later, I begin putting paint to canvas.
12:00 I have just finished photographing an orange Arion slug, about 4.5 cm long, crawling about through the moss in the splash zone. In my painting it is visible a little to the left of the waterfall. It crawled from moss-tip to moss-tip, but I couldn't see any evidence of grazing. Some of its time is spent down among the bases of the moss, where they attach to the rock, but I can't see what it's doing down there.
12:30 checked the slug again and it was 3 cm from the waterfall. It was crawling over a delicate new shoot from the growing tip of a moss stem, and in order to see if it had eaten it, I pushed the slug aside and ... whoops! It tumbled into the torrent. Another dispersal event, though nothing new for this population.
16:00 packing up to head upstream toward the forest track, away from water noise into quieter woods where I'll be able to hear if anyone is calling me....