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Monday, August 2, 2010

Summer Aspens in Hope Valley

It has been a while since I have put a plein-air on my blog, but I have been going out non the less.   Just have not been to successful lately!   So, I did force myself to use my sketchbook and do the nolans in it, and thumbnails instead.  I have always believed if i do this, and get better at this, my paintings will also get better.  It helps distill the scene for you, and you get what you want onto your painting. soon, it only takes a few minutes to do this step, but for now, it does take me awhile.  Yet, it does force me to look, and to see, and to think of my composition more.  Many almost pieces were done, but paper not wasted as I washed them off , and will use the paper again!  That is one pleasure of using good artists quality tools.         Yesterday was a beautiful    Sunday, wonderful in the early morning, and with 5 dogs , and my sister to help with the dogs, and haul my stuff we once again went up to Hope Valley.  Its about 20 minutes from where we live, and the early mornings are so wonderful----no people, and we have it all to ourselves!     There is the remains of the old hi-way, 89, running thru the valley, going up to Luther Pass and on to Lake Tahoe, so we walk down it.  Its great, so quiet, and its right on the valley floor, a very small hwy.  You can imagine the old cars on it from the 20's, 30's and 4Os's.     Found a great spot with a small bunch of summer Aspens in the sunlight,  grasses and bushes everywhere----This is just one possible scene that beckons you to paint it!!  Evenings are just as wonderful here, with very rich color.   Wild flowers abound, wish I could paint them!     The far mountain was in direct sunlight,  I hope it reads well.   I can not wait to go back and do more!!  My car isn't running well now, so I have to figure something else out!!!  


  1. Nice sketch, Ida. Good for you - you are getting out, even if it is to sketch. Lucky you these spots are only 20 min. away!

  2. Thanks Carolyn. I have always loved Hope Valley!
    To finnish this, its on Wallis---I dampened the edges of some nice Aspen like greens and pressed Aspen-like leaves in some places, making it look more sunlit, and swirly.

  3. Nice would be great if the old roads could talk. I think about the old roads where I grew up and where my mom lived as a kid near the Missouri River in north central MT...steep trails coming up from the river (crossed river on a ferry)...the trail was a bootlegging trail from Canada during the Prohibition! She remembers really fancy, huge cars making the trip across in the late 20's/30's! My grandmother was a nurse/general store owner and postmistress there. That was it...her homestead and my grandfather's homestead and their businesses! you should see some of the photos from the era!! I will bet there was similar traffic thru your area during that time as well.
    take care...keep painting...great idea leaving stuff sitting around and then you can make changes if you want! A guy I know soesn't frame stuff for at least a month once finished...just for that reason
    my best,

  4. Wow Bonnie great to see you here!! Your words are always good to read, and I wish I were there in your old area of Montana!

  5. Hi Ida

    I'm actually responding to a post you made to Bill Cone about his set up for Plein Aire. I am also your height and weight so I know how hard everything can be. I use my Heilman Box as well but half all my pastels so I can get a lot into a backpack size. But I have the regular size as well and the same thing works. I mount the Heilman onto a regular camera tripod and have put a quick release plate on the bottom of my Heilman, so I just snap the thing onto the top of the tripod, which is infinitely adaptable. The Heilman "easel extensions" are amazing and very light, and slide right into the tripod carrier which goes over my shoulder when walking anywhere. My BestBrella and the Roll_a_chair also comes with me, but I have found that using the Heilman easel extension right into the Heilman box makes everything now very manageable. Maybe something like that would eliminate the need to take your French Easel out except when you are painting right next to your car and don't have to carry anything very far.

    Hope that helps.

  6. Wow, Thanks for this info on the Heilman easal connection---I had forgotten about that, but I know what you mean. I saw it on their site----I will try and get one.... thanks so much!!!1