Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Thinking of Grasses

"Big Bluestem in Bloom"
(Andropogon gerardii)
color pencil drawing © Bruce A. Morrison
(click on image for a larger view
This is a partial re-post from my studio blog; often they are separate, following different themes, but recently I have been working on exclusively "prairie" related subject matter and this is certainly related to the tallgrass :) 
Just finished another color pencil drawing for this summer's exhibit at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge near Prairie City, Iowa.

I've never drawn grasses before, except "implied" as a background form or shape.  And since this summer's solo exhibit will be at a national "Tallgrass Prairie" type refuge, I thought it'd be very appropriate to try to do some small studies of prairie grasses as well.

Of course Big Bluestem is the Tallgrass icon for grasses, so what better subject to start with!?  I am drawing many of these small studies as "close-up" drawings; to bring the subject matter into a more personal/true experience type of presentation.  The grasses depicted here were in "bloom", which is actually surprising to some people; many do not equate grass with having flowers...sometimes referred to as "florets".  Bloom time is usually around early to late July "here", depending on the season's conditions.

This drawing was done from some video footage taken here on our native pasture in 2011.  When I started working on this summer's solo exhibit I garnered many images from the video work I've been doing over the past several years...they came in handy for reference material "and" inspiration, during this past winter!

I found a very good source of videos from last year's Iowa Prairie Conference that I thought I'd pass on to you; back in the "journal" days I would lay out several sources of good information for readers.  I haven't been as good at that since the "blog" version of the journal started, but will try and slip information in if I can.

The videos are of several topics given in 2013; the Tallgrass Prairie & Oak Savanna Fire Science Consortium has produced these - "Protecting Land, Protecting the Unknown (Especially Insects)", "Introduction of Management of Prairie Butterflies and Moths", "Prescribed Grazing, Are Herbivores the 'Natural' Choice?", "What Good is a Hill Prairie? Economic, Cultural, and Ecological Benefits", and "Driftless Area Stream Prairie and Savanna Restoration".

The videos can be accessed and viewed at the following link: https://vimeo.com/channels/646940

Well, back to work here - have a great week out there and hope to see you on the Tallgrass!

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