I had to be downtown and had the luxury of time to kill, so I sat on a stone wall to make this 5 inch wide painting. I really enjoy the way shadows reflect the blue of the sky on the plaster walls. It was a bit of a sprint… every 15 minutes, the bell tower would tell me how long I’d been painting and when I needed to get where I was going. Time flies…
I spent a nice, cool overcast afternoon painting the rocks up above Tangerine Falls, which is completely dry from three years of drought. Luckily we got enough rain for dozens of different wildflowers to be in bloom on the trail.
You can’t daydream
and sharpen a pencil on
a rough, damp, streamside boulder
at the same time.
It takes too much concentration
not to shatter the brittle graphite cone
with a careless stroke.
But it is worth the effort!
You get a much different point:
roughly worked wood,
smelling of fresh cut cedar,
topped by a scratch black pyramid of carbon...
This is a point more appropriate for writing about
a natural canyon with spirits whispering through willow trees,
the culinary uses of wild plants and ground squirrels, or
for sketching the observed mating stance of a dragonfly
doing geometry homework.
Conveniently, this rustic point feels quite at home out here
in the woods where pencil sharpeners are seldom found-
and okay, I admit it...
I forgot mine at home.