Thursday morning our "niece dog" Scooby went back to her home pack. The next morning I was still adjusting to her absence, so decided it was time to reinstate Fieldwork Friday.
What? You've never heard of Fieldwork Friday? Perhaps it's because I've never mentioned it. In fact, I only decided to institute it a few weeks ago. Right before I didn't have any available Fridays in which to practice aforementioned field work.
As an artist whose work tends to focus on nature it's imperative that I spend time outside. That seems straightforward enough, but it can be maddening trying to decide how to make "productive" use of limited time. Do I draw? Do I walk? If I'm walking, am I doing it for exercise or inspiration or do I want to make finished drawings? Am I using binoculars? A spotting scope? A camera? A sketchbook? When I can't decide I end up packing everything and accomplishing nothing.
Despite my continuing efforts to be Wonder Woman I have to admit I just can't do it all. Not all at once, anyway. While I'm still working out the rules of engagement for Fieldwork Fridays, I've decided that at the very least these will be days in which I give myself permission to take an outing with only one goal. Okay, maybe two. But not five.
Yesterday's goals were 1) check two lakes in the northern part of the county for spring migrants and 2) practice using my new(ish) camera to take some reference shots for potential linos or woodcuts.
I am pleased to report the day was a complete success. Part way through the morning I was joined by a friend and we had a great time visiting long-neglected local haunts. I added several bird species to my 2011 list, including one that was new for me: semi-palmated plover (at 9000' elevation)! I took lots of photos, too. Most of them were schlock, of course, but I did score a couple of things with print potential.
It's satisfying to know that I gave these particular needs/desires (get out and about in the county, look at migrants, practice with the camera, and collect image reference) some quality time and didn't let the long list of additional things I "should" be doing with my precious outdoor time get in the way. So satisfying, in fact, that I'll do it again. Not THIS Friday, unfortunately. But soon.