Saturday, March 16, 2013

At the Gertrude again

Yesterday, at our Friday session at the Gertrude, we had Sherry Bugg ... mother of some of our young models.  Beauties, all.  If I hung all of their portraits together, I could call it my Bugg collection!  Sorry, girls, couldn't resist.  I did a quick charcoal, a small oil painting, and a pencil sketch.  She was a good model - wish I could have done her justice.  Some day, if I ever have the attention span longer than a gnat's, maybe I'll actually surprise myself.  Thanks again, Sherry.

         Oil - 8" x 10".
           Charcoal  12" x 16"
              Graphite  5" x 7"

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Mini Update

My 3" x 5" painting of Big Sur took a 3rd place at the miniature show in Mariposa.  I'm thrilled that I won something, but I'm not convinced that it was better than the paintings that didn't win.  Some real stiff competition there.  Here's the link to the winner's page of the Sierra Artist's Gallery web site:

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Joshua Tree N. P.

 I just got back from a week in the desert.  The campsite that we stayed in at Joshua Tree National Park, was called White Tank.  It's right at the edge of the Mojave Desert, where it meets the Colorado Desert (as can be seen in the top painting) ... those distant mountains were down the long gradual grade going into the Colorado Desert toward Mexico.
 It was both fun and challenging to paint in the desert.  The winds kept me from setting up my umbrella most days ... and my choices of colour took some real adjustment.  Making compositions was somewhat different, too.  The choices are kind of limited to rocks, cactus, Joshua Trees, or other Yucca plants.
 Until a few years ago I had never spent much time in the desert and thought that I would never like it.  I have an aversion to heat ... and I always thought of the desert as so desolate.  And, in ways, I suppose, it is.  But I've really learned to like it.  It's just so different.
Nature still sings its song, it's just that the melodies are carried by different characters ... the rocks and sky taking up the major part of the melody ~ compared to places like Yosemite, where the granite may have a strong voice, it's harmonized by the trees, and the rushing waterfalls carry an answering melody all its own.
In the desert, though, one has to listen carefully to the whole orchestra; thrilling in the subtle accents of the violet brush, the darting rush of the cottontails and lizards, the counterpoint of the distant hills, the bold, cold notes of the cast shadows of boulders, and the accompaniment of the white and golden sands.
 Days flew by and the nights were cold and windy .... but I'll be glad to spend another week in those "wastelands" any time.  I just need to figure out how to stabilize my easel and umbrella better.