8″ x 10″ watercolor on Arches 300lb. watercolor paper.
Is it the ‘norm’ to have a few paintings in progress as well as a stack on the side of your desk with many ideas for future projects? I also wonder how many artists have their entire day(s) to paint or try desperately to fit the time in here or there? My time is limited, so when I get a few hours, I turn my music on and shut the world out. Today I planned to take the entire day to paint, however, life got in the way. The first half of the day was taken up by “must do’s” so when I finally got home, it was an absolute pleasure to paint and finish up this small watercolor painting!
Stay cool with all this summer heat.
It is so nice to be finished with a couple of recent watercolor paintings but they weren’t without their obstacles. I generally make a working sketch when a project is complicated but I did not examine my sketch of the “Ocean Painters” carefully enough to work through the difficult shade areas or take a good look at the “bench” when beginning the painting. Artists who have worked with watercolor know, once the color is down, it is difficult to make changes afterward. I took my chances and made some changes anyway and for the most part, it worked out.
The palm tree painting was straight forward but my “Ocean Painters” will need a bit of tweaking here and there but is basically done.
I continue to learn something new every day and definitely with these two paintings.
My husband and I began our road trip starting in Southern California and traveled through Oregon, Washington, Idaho and back home south through the south-eastern corner of Oregon and Nevada. The landscape was so varied and even though it was all beautiful in it’s own way, we loved Idaho the best. Besides Coeur d’Alene, we spent time in the mountain resort town of McCall, Boise and Caldwell. Here are some highlight photos of the different areas…
Our hike in Ponderosa State Park, view Payette Lake
We continued on Lily Marsh Trail
Strolled through the Ann Morrison Park in the city of Boise
Onward home through the Jorden Valley, mountain areas and deserts…
Dove Springs is a favorite area for so many So Cal people to motorcycle ride and as we made our final stop before getting home, we were able to watch the Memorial Day crowd of weekend warriors get themselves settled for what promised to be an amazing time to be out in the desert.
Though we spent a lot of time exploring the many different areas with our two Boxers, I managed to get in a few more “scribbles” in my sketchbook
As we enter the summer months, I wish you all a safe and blessed time no matter where the days find you.
Fields of Canola Flowers
Our travels continue on from Coeur d’Alene to McCall, Idaho. The Pacific North West or “PNW”, as it is known as by those living in this region, is absolutely beautiful. We traveled through mountains, farmland and ranch lands and as driving through, we are struck by fields upon fields of bright yellow. We were in Grangeville, Idaho and cars everywhere were pulling over so that people could take photos. The need for fueling up our truck came at the perfect time for me to get out and ask what we were driving by and was surprised when I was told that they were Canola flowers.
Of all of the items I buy in the grocery store, I have never once put any thought into canola oil but seeing those fields gave me a new appreciation for what is being harvested each year.
We traveled up the next mountain range and this was the sight as we were leaving…
As we climbed the mountain, we were struck by even more beauty…
White Bird Hill Summit mountain pass is at an elevation of 4,450 feet. Located at the southwest corner of the Camas prairie, White Bird is near the Salmon River crossing point for the Lewis and Clark expedition and also the location of the 1877 Battle of White Bird Canyon, which was the first fight of the Nez Perce War where the U.S. Army was defeated. The summit was named after Chief White Bird. Photos of this view do not adequately show the elevation or beauty but trust me, it is stunning!
We traveled down through canyon along side the Salmon River.
In part 3, I will share the photos of McCall and it’s landscape.
Ballpoint pen sketch while traveling
RV traveling is great to see the countryside and stay at “off the beaten path” places but can also seem long as the miles roll on and on. So this year, instead of letting myself drone out while my husband drives, I decided to make the time profitable and sketch. I’m not sure if any of you have ever tried to sketch while traveling in a vehicle, but it is not the easiest thing to do, so I figured that a scribble technique with a ballpoint pen would be my best option.
With our usual, familiar landscape, my first sketch was of the artichokes grown locally
As we traveled through Northern California and Oregon, the landscape inspired me to do a couple more sketches but since the landscape changes so quickly, these are just quick impressions.
Here are some photos of the areas we traveled through…
A small inlet of Lake ShastaCooper and Luna
Klamath National Forest
Lake Coeur d’Alene
Lake Pend Oreille, Bayview, Idaho
So much more to see and many more sketches to do, so stay tuned for Part 2
Happy and safe travels!
Vasquez Rocks Park, Agua Dulce, CA
Tuesday, March 6th, was a windy day but beautiful and the temperature was perfect for painting “En Plein Air” with a group of friends. I am a native Californian but have not been back to this area since I was a child and now that I have been back, I kick myself for waiting so many years to do so. This is a perfect area for so many sports along with photography, painting or just hanging out to enjoy the beauty.
Vasquez Rocks was home to the Shoshone and Tataviam peoples and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. These iconic rock formations known as “hogback ridges” are steeply ridged strata that sit along the San Andreas Fault system and of course, we as Californian’s have to deal with the occasional earthquake now and then because of this fault system.
This area has been used to film motion pictures, television and advertising since 1935 but prominently since 1963 with episodes of the Outer Limits, the Wild Wild West, Blazing Saddles, The Flinstones and Star Trek’s episode “Arena”, where Captain Kirk rolls a boulder on the reptiloid alien, Gorn. The prominent rock formation has been nicknamed “Kirk’s Rock” since it had been featured in a several Star Trek episodes. Taco Bell, Nike and Bank of America have shot commercials here and there are so many more, too numerous to mention but interesting to look up.
I continue to set aside days to paint outdoors and am loving the time but with all this amazing reference material, it’s time to head back into the studio. I consider myself a perpetual student and look forward to the challenge and practice of this technique. I am encouraged by what I was able to accomplish in a few hours and encourage any other studio painters to grab their gear and head outside.
There are so many wonderful sites to visit in Southern California and if you like the desert and are traveling in the area, definitely make a point to explore this area. Happy travels!
18″ x 36″ oil on canvas
This painting began with a conceptand instead of sticking with the usual sizes of canvas, I made an 18″ x 36″ canvas to fit my design. I had fully intended to go with a full color, daylight scene but it was missing a certain feel to me.I was going to scrap the whole idea but figured I had nothing to lose by changing the color and with it, the mood. I went with a limited palette of Dioxazine Purple, Indian Red, Raw Umber, Titanium white and a tad of Ultramarine Blue.The underpainting from the original colors show through and gives a nice warmth to this piece. It is quite a departure in color from my other paintings but I’m liking it and it gives a calm, moonlit effect. I am thinking about creating a smaller version in full color but I need time to ‘rest’ from this subject and to paint in watercolors.🎨
I welcome your thoughts and if you have changed directions as well with paintings of your own.