Tag Archives: Mount Wachusett

Sweet Spot at Brown Hill

This is from a series of posts by MABA resident artist Barry Van Dusen

Wachusett  Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, Princeton on April 28, 2015

There’s a sweet spot in the Hickory/Hornbeam woods on the back side of Brown Hill at Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary.  Joe Choiniere tipped me off to this rocky slope where Hepatica, Dutchman’s Breeches, Early Saxifrage and Small-flowered Crowfoot can be found. Today, with the help of some marker flags placed by Joe, I found the lovely Hepaticas in full bloom.

Hepatica, Wachusett Meadow - at 72 dpi

Hepaticas at Brown Hill, watercolor on Arches hot-press, 9″ x 12.25″

The blossoms varied from white to pale pink to a lovely sky blue. I set up my field kit and made a painting showing the three color variations. You can see a few trout lily leaves in the upper left of my watercolor – these handsome, mottled leaves were poking up all over the forest floor.

Set-up at Hepatica, Wachusett Meadow - 72 dpi

In this photo of my painting set-up you can just see a few of the Hepatica blossoms in the upper left corner.  They are truly small flowers.

While I worked, yellow-rumped warblers murmured from the trees overhead and a sapsucker sounded off periodically. By about 4:30 pm the blossoms started to nod and close up for the night. I did another drawing of the nodding blossoms, and added color back in the studio.

Hepatica (Blue), Wachusett Meadow - at 72 dpi

Nodding Hepaticas, watercolor on Arches hot-press, 10.5″ x 8″


Getting Started: Barry Van Dusen Residency

The first in a series of posts by MABA resident artist Barry Van Dusen

Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, Princeton on March 11, 2015

After a long, cold winter (February the coldest and snowiest ever recorded in Eastern Massachusetts!), this mild day in the 60s was my chance to get outdoors and start my Museum of American Bird Art residency, visiting Mass Audubon sanctuaries across the state!  I started close to home at Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary in Princeton.  The trails at the Sanctuary were still deep in snow – impassable by anyone without snowshoes or skis, so I wandered the cleared paths around the barns, and checked out the new work being done on the foundation of the horse barn.

I knew the sheep would be good models to draw, as I had worked with them before.  Most of the sheep in the Wachusett Meadow flock are of Merino and Coopworth lineage, but I found the petit Shetlands, which are a recent addition, especially attractive.

Coopworth Sheep - at 72 dpi

sketchbook study, 3″ x 4″

Shetland Sheep studies - at 72 dpi

Shetland Sheep, sketchbook study, 6″ x 7″

Shearing time is still a few weeks away, and the animals are heavy with wool. When the Shetland ram “Hickory” and the ewe “Willow” struck a pose side by side in the strong late-winter sunlight, I recognized the opportunity for a good watercolor!

Sheep at Wachusett Meadow - 3.11.15 - at 72 dpi

Hickory and Willow at Wachusett Meadow, watercolor on Arches cold-press, 10.25″ x 14″