Monday, August 31, 2009

Sequoia National Park Backcountry

A few studies from my backcountry painting trip last week in Sequoia National Park. All studies are 6x8", oil on linen. The study above is the view toward Watchtower rock
along the popular Pear Lake trail at roughly 9,000 feet. Pear Lake sits in a deep granite bowl at 9,500 feet. A small group of us painted for three beautiful days this year. We had one day of high clouds, wind and flat light, but mostly it was sunny and pleasant. Coyote, pika, chipmunks, bats, mountain bluebirds, and tiny pearl grey mice with white bellies were abundant. I spotted a large buck and an occasional hummingbird at 9,500 feet. The American Pika is an endangered species, threatened by the effects of global warming, so it was nice to see these extremely cute creatures.

We had mostly crystal clear skies, but one morning was more atmospheric. I could smell blueberry pancakes cooking on the camp stove as I was painting the study below.
On the first morning, after not much sleep, I arose well before sunrise to paint, not realizing that the sun doesn't illuminate anything in the lake basin until later in the morning.
The sun also leaves the lake basin well before sunset.
On the hillside above my tent site there were a few gnarled old white pines in interesting shapes growing out of cracks in the granite.
Most of the Lake was surrounded by these steep granite walls that were streaked with mineral deposits. The lake is not particularly deep, and the color consisted of deep jewel tones.
In a couple of places, the granite was interrupted with areas of vegetation. I thought the shapes in this area were really interesting.


Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon, these sketches are wonderful! I can feel the air and smell the pancakes!! I'm so jealous~

JimmyG said...

Beautiful work Sharon. I love the blues in the "Watchtower" sketch.