Friday, February 17, 2012

designs from Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park covers over 1.5 million acres! Only some of it is accessible by car. We took an airboat tour (remember "Gentle Ben" and "Flipper"?) of some of the mangrove and cypress groves and it was spectacular! Except for the part where the guide warned us of snakes in the trees. Yikes!

On land, I was especially intrigued with the pine groves and their unique ecosystems. From where we camped, I could see a nice group of trees and I studied them for a long time. Studying became sketching. Sketching became designing. Designing became abstraction.

Some of the trees were bent from the devastating 2005 Hurricane Katrina. Of course, many snapped and broke off, but some bent and stayed bent. I appreciated how their trunks created diagonal changes in the mostly vertical portion of the view.

I keep think of Hofmann's admonishment to let the landscape become the launching point for a painting design. As I look at these sketches today, I have more ideas about what to do with those shapes to move them further into abstraction.

On my morning walk around the lake, I was mindful of the ranger's warning about snakes in the ankle-high grass. I definitely didn't want to meet one of those giant Burmese Pythons everyone is worried about in Florida.

And, I was sure to walk in the morning, because, as another friend warned, "At night, there's just alligators and alligator food in the lake." 

Life is good!

11 comments:

Casey Klahn said...

Keep having fun in Florida. You are taking the chef's tour, it looks like.

I did introduce the kids to Flipper on Hulu!

Cindy Michaud said...

Glad you are loving it. Am sending this to a friend who was the Artist In Residence there (during mosquito season)...her designs came from the Lingus snail which only lives in that park these days. love the abstractions...

Pam Holnback said...

You are living the dream!! Another great trip! Love seeing your sketches.

SamArtDog said...

These drawings are terrific abstractions.

On that subject, is it just me, or is anyone else as challenged by Blogger's new abstracted anti-robot test?

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Casey: definitely a great time in Florida! Check out "Gentle Ben," too. Your kids might enjoy that old show, too.

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Cindy: thanks for your comment! Everywhere we go there are signs that give the mosquito levels. Even at "low," the other bugs are amazing. One day I was covered in pale green biting flies! I can't imagine how miserable it must have been for your friend when the mosquito level was "high"!

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Pam: I hope to paint sometime soon. But so far, the sketches have kept me with a hand in, at least! Thanks for stopping in.

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Hi Sam! Thanks for the comment! It's always great to hear from you!

Sarah Bachhuber Peroutka said...

Katherine, we've been to the Everglades and it was soooo different from the Pacific Northwest! (smile). I'm with ya on avoiding those big snakes (and other appalling reptiles.)For more AMAZING landscape you need to check out Louisiana if you haven't already. The swamps are etched into my brain. I love these sketches, the outlines and the blocks of color with patches of white. Are you using markers? (Sorry, I haven't been following closely.)

Carolyn Rondthaler said...

I love these abstracted designs. You've done a great job of simplifying those organic forms. I need to do more of that myself.

Cindy Michaud said...

So glad you brought this up: I hate, hate, hate this new two-word gig with tricks and traps and slow downs...Is this the TSA? enough to make me stop leaving comments.