Friday, April 13, 2012

Color on a Wintery Day

I must admit, I'm getting a bit restless.  Sometimes I love snow, but what we have now is slush.  So, since everything outside is white, I decided to do a quick sketch from a photo I called "Still Life on Deck," taken last February.  I love to collect containers of various kinds, especially jars and bottles. [By the way, what's the difference between a jar and a bottle?]
I have no interest in the monetary angle, and only a little interest in the historic.  My motive is both aesthetic and practical.  Aesthetic in that if the shape or design of a container appeals to me, I want to save it.  Always in danger of drifting into the realm of "pack rat,"  I sometimes have to justify my collecting.  In this case, a few of my favorite jars and bottles were placed on the railing of my back deck.  I then created a rainbow with watercolor paints.  This was in February when there was no snow on the ground.  I posted the photo on my log back then.  Today, I felt like sketch from the photo.  I've always thought of a "sketch" as a drawing, but I've learned that it can apply to a hastily done painting.  This one was certainly hasty.  Among other faults, the jar on the far left looks like it's melting.
On the practical side - and this relates to my habits as a naturalist - I always like to have a variety of containers on hand for capturing and transporting a bug, a small lizard or salamander, or a plant specimen that needs protection as I bring it home.  I usually keep live critters for only a short while in order to watch them eat, study their habits (in captivity), and do some drawing and photography, then release them in the same or similar habitat from which they were collected.  I must admit that sometimes collecting the containers is just as much fun as collecting the biota.
The habit must be hereditary.  My son does the same thing.  In the bottom photo, the container on the far left is his.  It's a pill bottle that he converted into a graduated cylinder.  My idea of a "still life" might seem a bit whacko to some, but then Picasso did some neat ones based on dead fish on newspapers.

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