Monday, December 6, 2010

Rod Lawrence, Tim Ernst, Two Artists' Nature Journals

There are two web journals I'd like to share with you that I really enjoy reading.  I guess one could call them 'blogs', but the way they are written without using blog platforms such as  Wordpress or Blogger, they seem more intimate and therefore more intriguing to me.  Both of these guys are good writers, both have a love and respect for nature (they actually live in the wilderness), and both are great, well-known artists in the area of their specialty.

Rod Lawrence is an author and acrylic wildlife painter.  I came across his journal one day as I was thinking about trying some acrylics and wanted to experiment with creating bark textures, fur, etc. and remembered that I have his book, Painting Wild Life Textures Step by Step (just noticed when making this link that this book is now out-of-print.  You might try Alibris or Amazon - can view inside book at Amazon - or one of your favorite used book sites to locate it if interested in getting one).  After reading a while, I thought I'd look him up on-line to view his website and was pleasantly surprised to see that he occasionally writes about happenings in and around his home in a journal format.  Although his postings are sporadic (like someone else i know), he states he only posts when he finds time and is just trying to give readers a feel for what life is like at his wilderness home in Michigan.

Tim Ernst, a nature photographer,  is very well-known in these parts and throughout Arkansas, as well as outside the state.  He lives close to the Buffalo River which he calls Cloudland.  His Cloudland Journal is very similar writing to Lawrence's - about living with nature, but with many more photos and posts.  Although I have a tiny patch of woods and hollow behind my home, I don't live at all in a wilderness area like these two men, which is why I so enjoy reading their journals.  And because I respect the ruggedness of the Arkansas wilderness, I have a great appreciation for the way they live.  Their writings reflect a simple, quiet but sometimes rugged life, yet I'm sure these two men lead very busy lives with such successful careers and can only imagine that they relish being home from their many travels on the road.  I had a chance to attend a slide presentation given by Ernst a couple of weeks ago, promoting his new coffee table book, Arkansas Autumn, and his trip to Iceland with Iceland nature photographer, Daniel Bergmann, but I missed it and of course am now regretting doing so.  I'll just have to catch him next time around.  I came across his journal because I've really been concentrating on my photography lately and wanted to view his recent work.  I hope to some day take one of his workshops.

So sometime on a cold winter's day, like me, you might like to curl up with a hot cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa by the comfort of your own fireplace (or electric space heater) and go into the wilderness via Tim and Rod's writings.  Happy reading, and if I don't get around to posting again before Christmas, Happy Holidays!