Sunday, January 13, 2013

January Can Brace the Soul

Beginning Burbling Brook Trail
January usually has a thaw about mid month. We had ours for two days this week. So a new painting friend and I went down into the canyon and up the far side to a lovely secluded spot. There were very few vehicles, but we did meet one resident walker, who was very interested in what we were doing. My friend did not paint. It was her first time out and she observed. She will be painting in the house tomorrow and I anticipate a call about the time she gets either totally excited or totally frustrated. Its fun watching a newbie take their first steps. And we got to hear donkeys and mules braying at the early morning light. You can’t hear that in midtown San Diego!

Blocking in color areas
While we were out, I did get one painting done. It’s a view looking West from the top of Fleming Tank Road. It took me much longer than I normally paint as there were lots of questions about the process. This sight is on Burbling Brook Road. Show me the brook. I never saw it. There are water related names out here and sometimes you just have to wonder what these people were drinking when they named something. Now Whiskey Creek I understand in a mining town. But, Burbling Brook, when the closest water is over 800 feet down?

Trying to catch the light - Shadows are moving about very quickly
I think that I did a good job covering the surface and in some places chose to let the toned canvas be the surface even at finish. And I tried to use pigments that I normally don’t. I used a brilliant turquoise and a rock your socks cadmium orange to get some mixes, and I did get the far greenish yellow hills spot on in value and color. The recession is good even with the darker range of the far Burro mountains. They are darker, covered in pinions, even though experience tells me that aerial recession is usually lighter and bluer. Sometimes nature hands you unexpected surprises, like that far dark mountain range. So I painted what I saw.

Burbling Brook Trail
Oil 11x14 Available on my website
I did find that talking my way through a painting made me remember stuff that I ordinarily do just by habit. And the ‘why’ of it. Having to explain my working methods made me pause and find the right terminology and give reasons why I do things in a certain order or at all. Her questions are making me validate, in my own mind, my process, and that is a good thing.
We are back to temps in the teens, and it is darned cold if you are standing in the wind. Our only snow is in small patches left in areas that do not get the afternoon sun.

I am now engrossed in setting up a studio still life for the pastel workshop I am doing in February. That will not be plein air and I need to do a pre-stage drawing. It will need to be simplified and dramatically lit. Should be fun.  It’s good to mix it up. 

Favorite quote:
An artist is no bigger than the size of his mind.                                                                 (Jack Shadbolt

No comments:

Post a Comment