Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Shade Seeking, Shocking Setup
Yesterday was a bust, I drove to a new area, up the Lostine River canyon. I started out before 5am, not realizing that sun doesn't hit most parts of that canyon until ten o'clock. So it turned into more of a scouting morning than a painting morning. It was too bad because the California wildfire smoke was affecting us this far north with a heavy haze, thus the atmosphere was very painterly. This morning was a bit of a bust too. I returned to the area that had abundant wildflowers thinking I would do another view before they were gone. It kinda got away from me as the raking light changed too quickly and I rushed the composition. Today was a beautiful day and not too windy in the late afternoon (but hot) and I went back out to try to redeem myself. I found an interesting subject of a couple of horses trying to avoid the sun and heat. I need to fix the drawing on the horse legs: Of course, just as I had roughed in the painting, a man drove up with a horse trailer and hauled the horses away. Good thing I took reference photos when I arrived although the horses are in different poses. I like this little study and think it has potential, but I will always remember how badly my feet hurt while painting it. I was standing on a steep ditch bank outside of an electric fence. I tried setting up my tripod on the other side of the fence so I could stand more comfortably, but I kept getting shocked whenever I touched my stuff. So eventually, between the disappearance of my subject and my feet and knees complaining, I thought I'd finish it later.
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Being shocked while painting, not to mention someone driving up and hauling away elements of your scene, is a mark of true dedication!
I think every plein air workshop should have an afternoon where people stand on electric fences, and get blasted by a wind machine, while trying to paint.
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