Sunday, July 29, 2012
Sunday, July 22, 2012
One of the few advantages of the hot weather is the potential for thunder storms. We need the rain of course, and Wednesday night, early Thursday a nice storm rolled through. I have a summer cold, scratchy throat, achey, and couldn't sleep comfortably, so I was awake at three in the morning as a second wave of storms moved through. The storms were on the south side of Chicago, not so much rain where I live. But my southern view is perfect for viewing such weather events. I set up my camera on a tripod and repeatedly shoot five second exposures, hoping to get lucky with a lightening strike. I discard ninety percent of what I shoot but every once in awhile...
Tuesday, July 17, 2012 Another ninety degree plus day. Worked in the studio most of the day, but my air conditioning is noisy and inadequate. About 3pm, tired of making watercolors of the lake, Chuck called and said he was swimming in the actual lake, and there was a bit of relief from the heat at the waters edge. It was a steamy and unpleasant ride to Lake Michigan, and the relief extended only about 20 feet from the waters edge, but once there, it was a delight. Chuck had found our old swimming spot from last year, difficult to identify due to lower water level. The rocks look altered and the logistics of entering the water vary from year to year, but this is a great spot with a stepped series of flat rocks that lead you into the water. Chuck had even scraped off some of the slippery algae to make the footing more secure. The wind was from the south, and in Lake Michigan on the west shore that means the warm water is being blown north and the cold water from the lower depths is brought to the surface. The water was cold, probably seventy two degrees, a nice surprise as the water in the pool in my condo building has be over eighty degrees for weeks now, much too warm to bring relief. The plunge into Lake Michigan was shocking for a moment and then you take in the clear coolness of the water. Chuck swims up and down the shore line, attempting to get in some real yardage. I'm more of a plunge in the water, float a bit, and out to drip dry for awhile, then repeat for as long as you are near the water. I brought along a thermos of ice and a couple sparkling sodas and we enjoyed our shady perch on the rocks. Chuck does not like to have his photo taken, but I persuaded him by falsely claiming this would be our one and only photo of him this summer. We were having a great time, until later, as the sun was low in the sky, first one, and then three raccoons made their appearance. They would pop their heads out of the spaces between the rock as unexpected places and Chuck made the comment that it reminded him of 'Laugh In', that show from the sixties where the comedians would pop their heads out of a wall and tell a joke. But no joke here, as cute as raccoons are, I'm a bit afraid. And Chuck was teasing me, he would brush my leg and claim it was a raccoon, or pretend to see one by my backpack. He eventually picked up a small rock and banged it against the ground to scare them away. I didn't do much, these raccoons are so used to people I was sure they were after our sodas. We literally made a run for our bikes and breathed a sigh of relief as we peddled away.
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Up early, coffee with Melissa. Home to work on a few watercolors and listen to NPR. Took train up to Wilmette late afternoon. A bit of a journey; Cub's game letting out as I got on the train at Addison. The train moved slowly, they seem to be working on the tracks north of the Sheridan stop on weekends. I had to wait ten minutes at Howard as I transferred from the Red line to the Purple. And then as I'm approaching my stop, Laura texts me to say she is at the beach with her friend Kathy and can I walk there from the train. Thirty minutes later I arrive at the beach. We all go for a long swim, the water is very warm for Lake Michigan. There are tents set up down the beach for a wedding and we swim down to take a look. Later, after a cocktail and a few nibbles we get into our groove. Other than the two girls having to manage their phones it is the perfect summer afternoon at the beach. Later dinner at Laura's home. Dave cooks chicken on the grill and we plow through a dozen ears of corn. Long train ride home but I keep myself busy crosshatching in my sketchbook.
Sunday, July 8, 2012
This collage was made in two pieces, each about 19 x 12 inches for an overall dimension of 19 x 24 inches. Materials include recycled cereal boxes, india ink, Bristol paper, white archival glue, and a little color.
... not much I could do but hunker down in my barely adequate AC and work. I continue to make collages using recycled card board. I then draw with India Ink on some of the pieces and cut and reassemble them into a new whole. As the week of hot weather went on, the collage grew larger. By the time a cool front moved through, four days later, the dimensions of the collage were 45 x 100+ inches and a challenge to frame.
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Summer is barely ten day old and I feel like it is August already. The weather has been extraordinarily warm for days at a time. I have run my air conditioner more this June than I did all of last summer. And yesterday at the beach in Wilmette the water was as warm as I can ever recall, which in Lake Michigan makes it about 75 degrees. It was gorgeous at the beach yesterday; many people out and about, great light and a nice lake breeze. I was with my friend Laura who insists on doing a little exercise while at the beach so on top of a long swim we walked the beach south to north and back again. We came across these kids as we walked north along the waters edge and I was struck by the varied nature of their construction, and the texture of sand looked beautiful. The theme of people at the waters edge still holds much attraction for me. And the 'meaning' the structure they have created is charmingly ambiguous.