8" X 10" Charcoal on paper
The alternative to going up in the canyons is staying near home and visiting the Jordan River Parkway. The Parkway is an oasis of nature running through the middle of the heavily populated Salt Lake Valley and even though it's very close by, (I used to walk to it) I don't visit it often enough. Seems I've been getting more and more lazy every year. Today I took a step to rectify that and went for a walk on the Parkway and I took my camera and sketchbook of course.
These were very quick and basic sketches, just ten minutes or so each with .9 mechanical pencil. The idea was just to practice observation and get a feel for the sense of place. It's easier than ever to take great photographs but cameras aren't experiencing machines, they don't feel. I feel art should be about the human response to our subjects, not our response to an image captured by a machine. That said of course I often work from photos, far more often than not. Part the reason for that is the fact that I still work full time. From November and into March the lack of evening light limits me to only getting out on the weekends and even then the weather often does not cooperate, not to mention I have other interests and often they take up time on the weekends. I believe a good compromise is to just take out a sketchbook and a pencil and make some direct observations of nature. Not only is this good drawing practice but it fills your memories with sights, sounds, and smells that just don't come through in a photograph, even if you take that photograph yourself.
All that said about photographs I still take lots of them, (thank heaven for digital cameras!), here are a couple from today's walk.
As you can see while autumn is winding down it's still spectacular. It was a perfect day for a walk, sunny and 60 degrees.