Posts Tagged ‘art’

Drawing the Place We Live

Artists Nancy King & Mary Swanson met in an art class not too long ago. They became fast friends and embarked on a singular project to draw a natural cross section of San Francisco.

The 16′ long panoramic drawing shows nine of San Francisco’s habitats with their birds, animals and plants, from sea to bay: ocean cliffs, cypress forests, marsh, meadow, rocky hills,  grasslands, oak, coastal scrub, and tidal wetlands.

Drawing all this in “plein air” is not a comfortable thing, and Nancy & Mary were often cold, wet, hot, thirsty (probably often in the same day, given SF weather!). They persevered carrying their sketchbooks, water color paper, pencils, and water color, and they kept drawing for over a year. Nancy and Mary would sti down and sketch — divvying up the background, drawing half of  scene, and sketch, and sketch all the wildlife they saw.

In all of this they felt they came to understand the place a lot better, by paying attention to the ebbs and flow of the nature around us. From being watched by curious corvids on the cliffs, to coming across grazing goats near Heron’s Head park, to watching the beautiful courtship rituals of Grebes, they were always coming across surprises.

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