Friday’s Plein Air Attempt at Lake Whitney

Lake Whitney Tree

Happy Holidays!  I have some catching up to do.  I tried to upload my plein air experiments while camping over the holidays, using my BlackBerry.  I followed all prompts and hit “Publish.”  Nothing happened.  I’ve come to expect that from BlackBerry.  So, let’s try this from the lap top.

I was invited to spend Thanksgiving time with beautiful friends and family at some campgrounds in Lake Whitney.  I was picked up Thanksgiving morning, and returned home late Friday night.  The food, companionship and conversations were all truly delicious, and there was so much space for reading, journaling and plein air watercoloring.

I slept in the bed of a pickup truck Thanksgiving night as the temperatures dropped into the low fifties.  It wasn’t a bad experience at all, the blow-up mattress supported me and the down comforter kept me cozy and warm.   The night sounds were soulful, the deer were out everywhere and the moon shining off the lake was affirming and serene.

Cold north winds blew in by morning, and never went away.  I was awakened at 6:57 to a steaming cup of coffee, and used it to the best of my ability to drive away the chill.  Finally, I took up residence inside the tack room of a horse trailer, with the door open so I could see out across the park.  I was reading (trying still to finish) Rollo May’s My Quest for Beauty, but I kept getting distracted at the sight of the morning sun shining off the bark of this tree in front of my open door.  Finally, I thought “Why not?”  I took out my watercolor tablet, Winsor & Newton watercolor field  box and worked on this tree, laying down washes of Winsor Red, Transparent Yellow and Winsor Blue (Green Shade).  I then dyrbrushed over the drying wash with mixtures of Winsor Green and Alizarin Crimson, along with the primary colors previously mentioned.  I kept trying to work in shadows and grooves in the bark.  Finally, I took out an HB pencil and began drawing the bark, occasionally enhancing the texture with Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils (Warm Grey VI and Dark Sepia).  This is the result of the sketch.  I absolutely loved working on it, and would have gone further, but the sun retreated behind the clouds and did not come out the rest of the day.  So, it was back to Rollo May and writing in my journal.  I brought along my copy of Thoreau’s Walden and re-read the final chapter of it.  The day was splendid beyond description.

Thanks for reading.

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: