This is from April 26, but I’m just updating my blog now. We launched from Larrabee State Park and paddled south. We had a bit of wind at the start but that soon died down and on our return it was glassy smooth. We seemed to have encountered a nude beach and another good resting point that was occupied so we kept going until we found ourselves in what looked like a commercial oyster bed, so we exited that quickly and started on our way back. What we did find that was interesting was a rock carving (I assume modern) and a bunch of wind-sculpted Chuckanut sandstone. Overall I found the paddle south to be not as interesting as going north, but it was a good day to be on the water.
I haven’t been painting as much as I planned but I’ve started sketching again so hopefully I’ll start turning those into paintings again soon. I have two new ones, the first is a small color study in oil of Cutthroat Pass and the second is a somewhat larger (but still small) painting of some hay and a house we saw in France.
So – what am I working on now? I was joking that I’m no longer making art, I’m just looking at it. But it’s probably more accurate to say that I’m not finishing any art.
I’ve got 3 oil paintings in various stages of done-ness, one of which I had previously put away for over a year and now I’m trying to salvage it. One is a bottle painting where I decided i was unhappy with the composition so I may not finish it. Third is another portrait of my dog, because everyone loves my dog.
Other than that – I’ve just been making tiny sketches to see if I like the layout – to avoid the problem of not liking a composition once I’m half way through. I think the rock in the forest and the sketch of Chain Lakes have potential. The other looked better in my head. The chameleon was just for fun and because I wanted to see if my multimedia paper would take watercolor (it does). The glass of water was a practice study. And the portrait is about half done, I’m letting it sit a few days to see if the proportions still look right when I’ve been away from it.
There’s no theme here, but I wanted to get in the last few things I did at the tail end of 2020. Two of my previous pastel frogs are promised to family members and I wanted to have one to keep for myself. The still life is the latest in what’s turning into a series of light shining through glass bottles. For a while in the middle I regretted my decision to paint green light shining on green apples, but I think it turned out in the end.
I’ve been hesitant to try animals because they are less forgiving than still life, but Pippin is just too cute. Here’s my dog in 12″x12″ oil.
My first commissioned piece for friends who said they wanted to have my first professional artwork. It’s from a photo that had special meaning for them that was, in fairness, a pretty grainy, dark picture. But I liked the mood and tried to capture the essence of it.
I meant for this to be something I could knock out in 3 hours, but it wound up taking all day. Red eyed tree frog in pastel pencil on pastelmat. The first photo is my ‘in progress’ image.
Tomorrow I hope to work on depicting shallow water in oils.
We were looking for a hike that avoided the snow up the in mountains, so in that sense, this was a failure. There was a good 6 inches of snow at the trailhead up to about a foot at the town site, but the hike was mostly flat and we were able to walk in the footsteps of the few people who went up ahead of us. It was a beautiful day, a pleasant drive, and well worth the trek.
The Pacific Northwest doesn’t get the fall fireworks show that the East can get, but we do mountains much better and also, there are larches. I had never seen them before, but these are deciduous conifers and if you time it right, you can see them in full, bright yellow color up in the mountains.
These are all from Cutthroat and Maple Pass in the North Cascades. The yellow trees are larches, the bright red bushes are huckleberries and the haze is the remnant of wildfire smoke.
I haven’t done as much painting as I intended, but I did get a lot of hiking done before the smoke drove everything indoors. It’s cooler weather now and I’m struggling to get back outside either hiking or kayaking. In the meantime, I have some new art.
I consider these all ‘studies’ where I’m still figuring out how the medium works and most of them are on cheap canvases or paper. I am pleased overall with how the wave turned out – this was my first attempt at water. For the honey jar I really like the glowing spot and somewhat regret doing it on such a poor canvas. Same with the bottles – I had some canvas paper that I found in some art supplies from 40 years ago and used it because it was convenient.
The tree frog is pastel pencil on ‘pastelmat’ from a free reference image. I did it in something of a hurry along with an online class/tutorial, but I think it came out well.
I don’t think I’m going to reach my goal of 100.