Tag Archives: Pennypack Trail

Scratch Art 5

More scratch art work inspired by a class I took at Woodmere Art Museum in spring 2021. Look here for the first post, which explains the origins of this inspiration and some general background on the medium.

This photo was taken at the Delaware Art Museum in the Pre-Raphaelite gallery.

And here is the scratch art, in two different incarnations. The story is, I went along with the image and everything was going just great. In my first (and probably best idea) I left the whole background black. No images exist of this phase because I thought: hmmm, I must have something more to this picture. So I will make the background white.

I started scratching away from the left side. Soon I realized I wished I had not done it. But as you by now know, too late. I salvaged the picture and ended up with this:

I consoled myself with how nicely I had done the carpet, but I never got happy. I hated that weird shape the background now has, and I wanted it to be one color, and my only choice left now was white.

I got out the tools and worked it over. It’s better, now, but still lacking. Lesson learned (again): every inch of the surface does not need to be touched. No matter how enticing the large open black areas are, no matter how much your tool wishes to dig in – sometimes you must leave them alone.

Scratch Art 4

More scratch art work inspired by a class I took at Woodmere Art Museum in spring 2021. Look here for the first post, which explains the origins of this inspiration and some general background on the medium.

This photo is taken from the flood plain as seen from the Pennypack Rail Trail near the Wlesh Road parking lot, back when there was a little snow still on the ground.

I am medium pleased with this image. On its own it has a certain look of stark snow cold and spiky trees that I like. But, once again, I planned in my mind for a pen drawing and then set to work on scratch board. This time I could not find the balance of mark-making that would let me have areas of black/white in pretty equal balance.

The reason that this happened was…I love making marks on the board. I like the way it feels, I like the meditative process of making small scratches, and I like playing around with different marks.

That is all well and good except for when you realize you have marked and scratched your way into a total white expanse where you did not mean to.

Note to self: Contain your enthusiasm. You do not have to alter every single inch of the board. No matter how much fun it is to scratch and scrape and….

Portrait of a Beauty in Late Summer

In March I mentioned a warehouse/factory building next to the parking lot of the Pennypack Trail, where I often run or walk. Here it is in August.

Warehouse at Welsh Road parking lot 8-27-15 #2 small

I’m fascinated by this building. It’s still in active use, so I am restricted to the view of it I can get from the park. That concentrates my idea of what the building is – I can only really examine one fa├žade of it.

The building looks like it is full of – to put it plainly – junk, and yet I heard sounds of banging or hammering coming from inside, meaning someone is doing something in there. And I know it’s busy – I see the trucks and cars parked around it and people going in and out. It’s a bit of a mystery.

Lastly, it’s a typical example of a style of building once very common around here in Philadelphia – the huge long open span building with clerestory windows. No extra detail, meant to be utilitarian only, and yet beautiful.

Yesterday was a sunny bright day and after I finished my exercise I got out my camera for more pictures. This time I concentrated on the windows. I just can’t get over the wild array of detail and color in these simple shapes.

So, here are the pictures.

This building is just the kind of place I’d like to tour. Forget museums or historic houses, as much as I like them – a factory or warehouse like this one is just the thing for me.

Photos of Spring and So On

Here are some photos I’ve taken and done some amending to – all from the rail trail at Lorimer Park/Pennypack Trail in Huntingdon Valley/Abington, PA.

Usually these photos had something wrong with them – out of focus, or that kind of thing. But, in each case I felt a pull to work with the image because there was a balance or a rhythm or something that seemed right – just needed adjustment. So that’s what these are all about.