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Monday, June 28, 2010

June at Hope Valley-

 Today  I was up early.  Its supposed to be about 98 today, with afternoon Thunder showers coming over Lake Tahoe.  We live just below the lake, and I wanted to go up to Hope Valley today so I thought I better go early as I could.  Fed my Calf, who seemed to enjoy the early milk , loaded the dogs and took off.   Its so beautiful here, and the greens are really  apparent now!!  Hard to figure how to control them.  I have been reading , of course, and found some older pastel journals that have some great articles in them.  I could see how much painting with Albert Handell had influenced Richard McKinley's work in the early 2000's----amazing---and read his thoughts as he took this journey to where he is now.   I will really miss a great clinic this September!!!  But I will paint any way.  Today , While I enjoyed where I was and will go back---I don't feel I got my self around the scene the way I wanted.  First off, I choose to paint a far mountain that was being hit by the morning sun coming up in the East.   Not many shadows, but still, I tried.
This is where I was looking----Next time I will chose a more up close scene.  I did use a viewfinder, but held it too close to my eye to get the large scene.  Better selection next time!!  There is just so much you are overwhelmed!!This is my painting.  I really tried to simplify the foreground, and also to show the farther mountain to be cooler, but still hit by light.  And the foreground mt.  is warmer   and is not showing the true colors in the digital photo!!  That's so frustrating!   I don't understand how to adjust and get the correct color when this happens.   At least I was out there , and home by 10  am!!!  Hauled some hay, feed some horses, and now for my lunch!   It was fun, but I need to do more, much more, and much better planning!!! The dogs had a great time , chasing squirrels,   and trying to swim in the river---Which is very HIGH  by the way!!  NOT SO HIGH last june when I painted the dog playing in the water, trying to fish!!    He was having so much fun.


  1. This is beautiful, Ida. Great job on the mountains. Sometimes I get lost in the shapes of the mountains, but you got that down real well. About La Carte - I love it. I'm still trying to "master" Kitty Wallis and PastelBord, but La Carte is less struggle for me for some reason I don't know.

  2. Ida,
    I grew up on a ranch that raised black Angus in MT. It's a good life; hard to get away from unless you are a huge operation and have hired help that does the majority of the work!
    From you photos, it looks like beautiful country as well. I was in Tahoe a couple of times, but more recently (mid 90's) in Genoa. My husband and I used to shoot trap competitively and we went there to some absolutely beautiful gun club...which I have heard is no longer open. It was pretty opulent and nothing like the gun clubs I frequented in ID, MT and WA! We stayed in Reno and drove for the 4days to Genoa as some friends were with us and his wife didn't want to be stranded at a gun club all day! As my kids got older, the shooting went away because of all their regrets...
    I am so impressed that you do so much plein air. There are big challenges with it! A view finder is a must and I just use simple stuff...I also like to either keep a piece of red acetate in my kit to look at my painting and make sure I have good values. Sometimes I will use the digital camera and take a shot and then look at it in sepia or b&w so I can see shades of gray.
    I also like to paint shaded to keep from getting to dark on my paper. that's my theory anyway and it is more pleasant than the sun beating down on you. As far as painting what you see...what I do sometimes is to use the view finder and plot the painting out using the thirds rule...divide you paper into thirds in each direction and build my sketch around those marks. Does that make sense? Then you can establish how big you want your mountains to be; where the plains meet the mountains line to be; how much forground you want; how tall you want your trees, etc. Reference points! Hope that helps and makes some sense. I sometimes have a little scrap paper to try color on so I can match colors (if that's what you want to do.) I love the purplish color u used by the way. I do a lot of purple for shadow :-)
    I am a big fan of Handell and McKinley. I have not taken a workshop from them tho...would like to at some point. The other thing that I try to do is look at the greens...if they are yellow greens...that's the only greens I put out to blue greens...Elizabeth Maury is a pastelist you may have heard of and has written some books. One, I don't remember the name shows you seasonal palettes. Her books are very helpful.
    The NWPS is looking at getting Clark Mitchell to jury the international show in May (?) and he will do a workshop. I have heard really good things about his workshops...will be in the greater Seattle if you can, come to that...I'll keep you posted. Consider entering a piece in the show too! It will be posted early winter with details on the site.
    I am working on a livestock marker painting is pretty abstract, but fun to play with. They are not as easy to work with as regular oil paints; just something unique. I played with some acrylics yesterday and did one with just a knife. Lots of texture. I will post these on my next blog.

    I like your blog's interesting and you have something to say!
    Hope I didn't put you to sleep with my meanderings!! Have a good day!B

  3. Wow! Thanks for both of your comments! Mrs. Griffith, thanks so much for all the detail you have gone into here!! I go out each morning from 6:30 to about 10:30--sometimes longer--because I need to. Today, I just drew with pencil, notans, Thumbnail sketches and so on--I was trying to use comp--to nail down what it was about each scene I saw that I wanted to paint. I use a viewfinder, and a red plastic for values--don't help always, but good practise. I was at a more desert area yesterday and the day before--and worked hard, and didn't really like what I did--1/2 and 1/2---so I have been reading Mcpherson's book, and ?Carlson's, and Payne's, and went this morning to the area above to just do the nolans and understand the area better. I am remembering the Chavez workshop I attended last fall in Hope Valley on Hwy 88 thru here, and south of Tahoe, lasting one week. It was great! Mckinley will be this Sept--but I am not attending---Need to get a job!! But until then, I will paint!! Thanks so much for your words! I will study them!! And no, probably not going to Seattle for awhile, thanks.

  4. Love how the mountains turned out. Great work! I took the kids to the mountains last weekend. Sledding in the summer is a blast! Still lots of snow above 10,000 feet. You keep getting better and better.