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Here is a tiny watercolor painting from the little moleskine book which I always carry around. After my trip back to the family farm, I was flying back to New York City through Charlotte airport when a great summer thunderstorm swept through the Piedmont with walls of water and bullwhips of lightning. This is what I painted as I shuffled around different gates and tried to comprehend the various announcements. The image, of course, has nothing to do with these circumstances: I would interpret it as a pair of elves in festive pink and purple outfits visiting the honkytonk district of Bugtown (while a 1960s spider in red pajamas and a black cape capers on the roof of an inn). Although the image is unrelated to being trapped in an airport, it does seem to have some of the anxious energy and strange unknowable characters which one encounters in such a scenario. I wonder what that ferret/civet in the lower left corner is doing with that long jar of while liquid?

Founder/Flounder Galley (Wayne Ferrebee, 2021) ink and watercolor

Here is another image from my little moleskine sketchbook which I carry around. This past year I have been trying to become better at drawing an image with a nib and then coloring it with watercolors (the go-to methodology of illustrators who want beautiful diagrammatic details). I am getting better at this technique…but I am still not a master of photographing small artworks with a cellphone camera (the true signature medium of our age). Anyway, here are a bunch of hapless galley slaves rowing along in glum resignation as their captain and officers take the fragile wooden ship through a mermaid-haunted reef. Huge poisonous monsters and weird idols stand on the deck. Hungry seabirds and devilfish size up the sailors as a Chinese junk sails by out in the navigable strait and a German airship floats by like a leaf. I see no way that this small composition could represent our entire Rube Goldberg economic system of world trade. Also there is a flounder, floundering along the sand hunting for worms and copepods. Let’s hope that no larger fish or fisherman show up to hook or spear or dynamite the poor hungry fish!

Oops…better get back to rowing…

Palace Progress (Wayne Ferrebee, 2021) Watercolor & ink on paper

Here is a watercolor picture from my the little moleskine sketchbook which I carry around. A pompous, three-legged grandee makes his serene progress through a palace landscape. Around him are fawning moth courtiers and little fairies (as well as a horrified little flatfish who has somehow wound up in the garden’s reflecting pool). Although it is good to poke fun at the airs of aristocrats, my favorite part of the picture are the fluffy pink flying fox in the center and the ancient monotreme. Watercolor is not my finest medium, but maybe if I keep trying to capture fantastical foibles with the set I carry in my bag, I will keep improving…

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