Part of my sister’s wedding festivities were in New Orleans, and I just couldn’t get that close without heading to Ocean Springs and the Walter Anderson Museum of Art. I’m a homing pigeon for that place. It was a good choice. I stopped at my favorite antique mall on the way down, spent a lot of the afternoon in the museum, swung through Shearwater Pottery, and was out on the pier for sunset. I forget how elemental water is. I spent at least half an hour just standing and drinking in the sunset, the pelicans skimming right along the surface of the water, and the moon and clouds playing peek-a-boo overhead. I think I grinned ear to ear the whole time. It was a stunning evening. I did a couple of golden hour sketches before enjoying the sunset, one more successful than the other, but sunsets are dicey that way.
The next morning I took my walk by the water and spotted a row of trees looking across the water to Shearwater from the marina (the complex where Anderson’s family lived), so I walked back for my sketchbook. It was cold, but I did a quickish grisaille study for a print — to get the shapes and the black and white.
For those of you who haven’t had the joy of seeing pelicans lately, here is a small bit of joy for you. I’m home and happily working on the print I drew out now.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
Get occasional studio email updates.