The Frozen Marsh

I read an article in the QC Times last week about a local woman, Julie Malake, who is producing a book of photographs taken in Nahant Marsh, a reclaimed wetland on the outskirts of southwest Davenport.  Even though Tim has lived here his whole life, and I have lived here for a third of mine, we have never scouted the Marsh.   On Sunday we decided to change that. After bundling up in long johns, hats, neck gaiters and good socks, we grabbed the binoculars and camera and headed out.

If you are one of the people who, like me, enjoy the subtle variety of colors that be found in a primarily brown and white landscape, I highly recommend a walk through Nahant in the winter time.  If you look closely, you’ll see all sorts of beautiful shades of lavender, brown, blue, golden.

Here is a little photo tour of our excursion (if you click on the picture, it will open up to a larger size).

This is a the entrance to the park.  The visitors center does not have extensive hours, but during daylight, you can park the car at the entrance and walk the trails to your heart’s content.

This is a viewing shed perched on the edge of the wetlands.

After exploring the marsh, we drove to the mighty Mississippi and used the binoculars to spy on the pack of Eagles chillin’ in the trees across the river.  They were too far away to see clearly; when we looked through the binoculars we just saw dozens and dozens of splashes of white, popping out from the trees.

Next we headed to the lock and dam in Downtown Davenport, which is evidently a very popular eagle-watching hangout.  They feed on the fish below the dam.  It was wicked cold by this point, so we didn’t linger long.  I caught a picture of these ducks.  I love ducks, ever since we had a pet duck when we were kids.  Her name was Mildred, and she was best friends with our dog, Kanute.  She laid unfertilized eggs everywhere, so we had a nice supply of rotten eggs, which is a useful thing to have as children.  Ducks are so awesome.  Look as these two – they are so in love!  Quack Quack.

My pretty letter S

I forgot to upload one of my letters last week.  This one is just a little guy.  I painted him on an ATC (artist trading card).  I tried to paint a border around the letter, but the line was very messy, so instead I colored in the background with a purple wash and then used my PITT artist pen to draw on the border.  I really like how it turned out.

I must say, though, that painting on 2.5″ by 3.5″ pieces of paper is tough.  I need to drink like 50 cups of chamomile tea to steady my hands first.

We’re taking a trip to Dick Blick in Galesburg today to pick up the supplies for our Mark Polomchak class next month.  I am super excited.  I am sure to buy more than I need, but I have a huge soft spot for art supplies – there is just so much potential there!

Painted Mom and More Letters

I broke out the old watercolors again this weekend.  I need to finish up a couple of note cards for some friends, and my drawing of Mom (from Futurama fame) has been taunting me.  She’s all stretched out and stapled to my painting board, just waiting to be juiced up in living color.  Or at least in plastic color.

I’ll start with the letters.  Here is the M. I like the structure of the letter, but I wish I would have used a smaller palette of colors.  This is quite the rainbow M!






The N started out really well.  I was really happy with the balance of the letter, and the straightness of the lines.






I mucked up the painting of the letter, though.  The left-hand side got too muddied, and no amount of lifting the paint off would get it ethereal anymore.






As Tim pointed out to me yesterday, however (which amazingly came as sort of an epiphany to me), I have a tendency to focus on the negative.  I should focus on the right side of the letter, with which I am quite happy.  Half good is better than no good.

And…on to Mom.  I only have the base colors done so far.  She needs some more layers to get the colors right, and then some shading to finish her up.  I think she’ll look really cool when she’s done, though.




Look closely, and you will see that Mom’s hair is too big for the paper, and she has 2 staples through it.  I am spatially challenged, what can I say.  Maybe that can be my thing – my claim to artistic fame – all of my art runs off the page due to bad centering.  Ah, I’m waxing negative again, damn it!

Hopefully next week I can finish up the Mom painting and the cards, so I can figure out what to do next.  Mom (my mom, not the Futurama mom) and I are taking a watercolor paint class in Chicago (taught by Mark Polomchak) in February, so I need to practice some more, so I can keep up with the rest of the class.

Take care, and best wishes on your creative projects!