Saturday, August 06, 2005

Paint everyday

I get up around 4:30 to capture the morning light as it lights up the valley and pushes the shadows down into the valley.

It was cold. 3 hours of painting and I was froze. I had to go to town, (Republic, WA) to get a cup of coffee and warm up. I gave up coffee sometime ago but had to have a cup of Joe.

The buildings in the background are those of the Campabasso family. This is the Campabasso and Stensgar homestead. Stensgars are the descendants of those that ran the Hudson Bay Company at Fort Colville.

In the 40's there was a hunting lodge here. Glen Whitelaw flew in dignitaries to the back country to hunt. Today the tribe doesn't allow non-tribal hunting although they allow fishing and sell their own permits a.k.a. "squaw permits to fish.

This picture is a little misleading as I have worked on it since and have added a team of horses hauling a load of loose hay down the road. It came off O.K and interjects the element of a story instead of just a landscape. The canvas is only 11 x 16 so the team of horses is only 1" biig. Might be the smallest team in the world!

Going huckleberry picking today up in the Kettle mountains with Aunt Dian. Should be good picking as there was lots of rain this summer although not much snow last winter.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Wednesday, 8/1/05

Today painting went OK. The setting is so important to success. A good setting paints itself.

I got up around 4:30 a.m. and beat the sunrise over Cache Creek pass. I wanted to capture the long valley that leads down to the Colville Indian Agency. I also hoped to find the herd of Paint horses that graze in this range as I have a studio painting of them planned. The stud horse of this bunch is a very loud brown and white paint. He has 8 or 9 mares and an assortment of the previous years foals from last year to about two years old.

This view looks out over the Columbia Basin to the Cascades that are faint blue silhouetes in the distants. You can see snow on them at times although this year there wasn't any.

This is the area of the Moses Band of the Colvilles and Chief Joeseph of the Nez Perce spent his last days here. He is buried in Nespellem. The Colvilles are basically a number of families, some that lived here and others that were located here.

The "Agency" is the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Tribal Government Headquarters. It is basically the reservation "capital" and heart of the Tribal Government.

I worked about 2 hours on a 9 x 12 painting. I forgot my paint thinner which was a good thing as I have been studying a DVD by Scott Burdick who layers thick impasto paint, wet into wet. It takes a lot of paint to cover even a little canvas. I find half my problem is just that I am so cheap I have difficulty squirting extra paint out of the tube to get the job done. The challenge is not to mix the paint on the canvas as that leads to muddy colors. It takes more drawing skill and value selection but lends itself well to softening edges and the effect of atmosphere in landscapes. One of the things I hope to achieve is better, more dynamic brushwork that results in a rich surface. I like paintings that are both highly skilled representational work with bold brushwork that allow colors to exist independently of the image yet combined, come together as a whole to be the image itself.

All that said, I have to paint, paint, paint.................