Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Report on last two paint-outs - Mt. Rose and Rancho San Rafael

Meadow on Mt. Rose:  With the holidays, no one else could make it but me.  What a difference a week makes.  More snow up on the meadow.  Today had very high winds, but the roads were dry.  I made changes in my painting plan:  I packed a small watercolor kit that I could paint while in my vehicle.  Good thing too - I took pictures outside and felt the wind almost blow me off balance.  But that didn't phase the snowshoers and the kids off school sliding down the hill in saucers.  I was in good company up there, but warm, out of the wind and a great view from my windshield!

Here is my set up:  a box lid serves as a desk for my lap.

The consul serves as a holder for my water container, and the driver's seat as an extension of my "desk".

And here is my painting:

Rancho San Rafael Park:  Carol Grigus joined me for a lovely day of painting.  I don't have a picture of her painting - she got a later start than I did.

My painting was down by the bridge over the creek where the trees are almost crawling across the ground.  I am still "learning" this medium - trying to do alla prima (done all at once without making mud!).

9 x 12 oil

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Nov. 20, 2012 (Tuesday) Meadows on Mt. Rose

Mt. Rose Hwy looking east
Date:  November 20, 2012
Time:  11:30 am (note time is later!)
Place:  Mt. Rose Hwy at the Meadow on the top
Parking:  roadside
Meeting place:  I will probably be where this sign says "stairs"
Amenities:  bathrooms are at the Mt. Rose trailhead parking area east of the above photo.  I don't know if they are closed for the season!  Sorry - I forgot to check.

What to bring:

  • camera
  • hiking boots or snow boots at least!
  • snow shoes if you have them will get you farther
  • drinking water
  • sunscreen, hat and sunglasses if sunny (snow reflection on sunny day is bright!)
  • painting gear
  • outerwear clothing - check forecast and throw a coat in the car!
  • your lunch if you need it!
  • your gear in a backpack if you wish to walk into the snow, hmmm, sled might work too!
  • carry chains, or, be prepared with snow tires and/or all-wheel-drive if you can
  • cell phone
Hazards:  some areas have snow covering little streams, some ice, potential hazardous driving up the Mt. Rose Hwy if icy after a storm.  

Directions:  from Reno, drive up the Mt. Rose Hwy to the top meadow before it goes downhill into Incline Village.

I visited this location today - it was gorgeous - there is a lot of color right now - red stick dogwood, willows, snow patches, evergreens, muted gold grasses.

There is supposed to be snow over the weekend into Monday in the upper elevations.  We are now getting into the "WEATHER PERMITTING" type of planning paint-outs.  

Friday, November 2, 2012

November 14, 2012 (Wed.) Rancho San Rafael Park Paint-Out

Date:     Nov. 14, 2012 (Wednesday)
Time:     9:30 am
Place:     Rancho San Rafael Park, Reno, NV
Parking:  Park at the Arboretum parking lot
Amenities:  drinking water, bathrooms, paved walkways through the arboretum, picnic tables

What to bring:
  • camera
  • painting gear
  • walking shoes
  • appropriate clothing for weather
  • A backpack or cart (if you have one) to tote your art gear down the path to the creek
What you will see from this location to paint:  the arboretum is in fall colors now, and the flower gardens may be done for the year.  Most of us like to take the walkway that leads down the hill to the wild areas at the creek - willows, rushes and tall grasses, cottonwoods.  

Directions - entrance is on Sierra Street, not far from the intersection of McCarran Blvd.

Link:  http://www.washoecounty.us/parks/rsrp.htm

Recent Paint-Outs - a little report

Below are highlights of recent paint-outs.  I always ask artists first if I can take a picture of their painting, and post it.  It is meant to share-and-tell, and to encourage others to join us...that we don't do everything perfectly ourselves, and that we are still learning each and every day, and we can learn from each other as well.

On Oct. 31, 2012, three of us (Carol Grigus, Ida and myself)  met in Genoa to paint.  What a difference a day makes!  The day before was gorgeous, and the day we were there, there was no sun shining on those gorgeous golden cottonwood trees.  Overcast days are not a favorite lighting condition for plein air artists because there are no shadows which help create form, contrast, and good compositions.  When there are no darks in the landscape, we need to emphasize what darks we can, for instance, the hills behind golden foliage.  The dark against the yellow really makes them pop.  If we painted them against a pale blue sky, the yellow would just blend in to the sky.  Another trick is to add a little purple into the darks next to a gold/yellow - since the complimentary color of yellow is purple, it makes the gold brighter appearing.  You can see where Ida did that in her painting below.

We did our best, and at least got our paintings blocked in before lunch.  Carol got a great start massing in her shapes with a great composition, and she will work on it at home.  I can't wait to see it when it is done.  Ida, working in pastel, says her painting is still a work in progress and also wants to do more at home.  My painting, in oil, was a learning experience!  I found that in certain lighting situations, glare from a grey day can make it hard for me to see my painting - especially when it has a glossy reflective surface like oil!  Next time, I'll turn my easel in such a way that I can see better. Thanks Ida, for reminding me to mass in my darks first!  Next time, I'll do that and maybe I won't struggle so much.

Mine (Carolyn)
On Oct. 24, 2012, Carol and I went to Thomas Creek (last minute - so it was not scheduled here).  We were having a cold front move in, and although it was sunny, there were snowflakes coming down now and then from the wind.  Bundled up for cold, I worked for 2 hours.  Carol drove up the road, so I never saw her or her painting, but here is mine:
oil on panel

On October 9, 2012, Carol and I went to Taylor Creek, Lake Tahoe, to paint during the Kokanee Salmon Run.  It was a GORGEOUS day, but also a day where lots of people come to see the salmon run, including busloads of school kids.  Since this is such a unique event, we both painted the fish in the stream.  I stuck it out near the visitor center and was visited by lots of school kids!  It made it impossible to finish my painting.  Carol went upstream to avoid the crowds, but was on the lookout for bears...so she did not finish either.  I hope to see her finished painting someday.  I can only post mine at this time:
9 x 12 pastel over watercolor