Monday, August 29, 2005

Chasing sunsets

This afternoon I was in the pasture with the horses painting as a thunderstorm rolled in. The horses tossed their heads and ran from one end of the field to the other every time thunder rolled. By the time I was nearly finished with the scene I was working on the light really started to become dramatic. I whipped out a little 9 x 11 canvass and did a cloud study. Later I rambled around the valley as Redneck, the neighbors dog, chased cows as I took digital snaps of the cloudscapes.

I wrote:

"The sky like a belly ful of wine, blushes, and stumbles off into the twilight."

I took 91 pix but only one that I like. Digital doesn't capture color.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Afternoon light, Sanpoil

This is a view from the pasture below the studio a good place to work in the shade when it's hot. I tried to get the values correct on the mountain in the mid ground which is named, Chic le est, an Indian name which means, Creator Mountain. A geologist once told me that the mountain is older than the rest as evidenced by the amount of glacial scarification and the lack of new basalt that can be found on the higher mountain in the background, Chillimoss (Cold Mountain). I had trouble until I added the value of the sap green tree in the hard light. It is a challenge to record the moment when the shadows are growing so rapidly. I spent about 6 hours, setting up in two, 3 hr sessions. That worked OK because the sky was the same each afternoon.

One of the curious bits of history that isn't apparent in this landscape painting is a ditch that runs along the crest of the bench in the right hand shadows of the painting. It is an irrigation ditch built in the 30's by the Civilian Conservation Corp. The government had their WPA crews in the area improving tribal farm ground. They ran 30 mile creek in a system of ditches on the Whitelaw place along the benches and irrigated hay ground for more than 3 miles down the bottom of this valley. It's quite impressive to think of the work it took with horses and men using shovel's and picks. Times were tough and men needed work. Some of the finest work you will ever see was done during this time. There are bridges, stone walls with hand hewn rock and other projects including Grand Coulee Dam that were work projects that provided jobs and built the west into what it is today.

I finally got a piece on Ebay. I put "Owhi Herd" on the net to feel out the market possibilities., I've done alright selling pieces there before. I love the idea of being able to reach a market from the wilderness of the Reservation even though I might not get what I can at a gallery or show. Ebay has the potential to make art quite Egalitarian. I like that. Anyone can afford artwork. It's great to be able to surf through such a vast assortment of artistic effort. Some of it is quite good. I believe artwork auctioning on Ebay will create its own influence on Art History. Never before has the ability of so many voices been accesible at one time. It is something of a measuring stick that an artist can use to measure his work against others. And vice versa, the auction process allows for patrons to have an enormous level of comparison between artists and their work. I cross my fingers that all goes well.