Into the Canyon Again

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I think a painting is undigested if you leave it in the state of just chaos. I like that first, wild impulse to be there, underneath, but pulled back into clarity.

Andrew Wyeth

Saturday, the sun came out at intervals, so we decided to travel to Caprock Canyons State Park in Zavalla, Texas. Temperatures were mild enough that jackets were no longer necessary, and with only 30-45 minutes before the sun dropped behind the ridge, I set up quickly and enjoyed sketching out a piece of the canyon at its inmost location (the final turnaround point for driving). Moving back and forth between pencil and brush, I alternated between drawing and painting on this 8 x 10″ stretched paper. The short time proved to be even shorter as I enjoyed meeting a family who had just moved from Seattle, Washinton to west Texas. The father was a painter who had made some plein air attempts in his past and was serious about returning to the practice. I also enjoyed the small dog, Patches, that made the trip with us. He was walking with Sandi on a trail fifty yards below where I was perched. The dog, looking up, saw and recognized me and decided to scale a cliff to reach me, then return to his master.

Once I finished playing with the dog, I spent about ten more minutes on this piece before the sun dropped, leaving the entire horizon in a subdued sea of gray. Today, looking at it with fresh eyes, I recalled Andrew Wyeth’s preferred practice of beginning a composition with quick, loose strokes, then later returning to refine it. This reminded me of William Wordsworth discussing the practice of writing poety in Lyrical Ballads. He wrote that poetry begins with passion outpoured, then concludes with judgment studied.

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Yesterday Evening’s Beginning, on Site

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Today’s Continued work, in the Studio

Tomorrow I plan to look at the piece a third time and decide whether or not to push it further or just leave it and move on to the next adventure.

Thanks for reading.

Shultz on website

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

 

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