Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Oley Valley, PA, August 2006

Once upon a time, not even 10 years ago, I had more money at my disposal and was able to take time off from work to travel around the countryside drawing things. These two colored pencil drawings come from that pre-Crash era, when I was touring through eastern and central Pennsylvania in Amish country. The location is Oley Valley, Pennsylvania, which appeared in a poem by modernist 20th century American poet Wallace Stevens, who was born and raised there and had strong historical family ties to that region.

"One of the limits of reality
Presents itself in Oley when the hay,
Baked through long days, is piled in mows…"

(From "Credences of Summer," part IV)

Stevens is one of my favorite poets, despite his expectation that the reader will be as sophisticated and well-informed as he is in order to get the density of references he writes about. He also writes from a position of social privilege which is hard to take in the politically edged culture of our current time. 

Literary Criticism aside, these are the colored pencil landscape studies which morphed into my winery drawings a couple of years later, when I traded traveling in other U.S. states to visiting wineries in Virginia. 

Colored pencil on sketchbook page, 8 1/2" x 11", August 14, 2006. Some Photoshop restoration in the sky area. Cliquez for larger view.

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