Watercolor Sketching in Studio Eidolons

Working in the Watercolor Sketchbooks this morning

Then in the Arctic half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River and a four-count rhythm and the hope that a fish will rise.

Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

Waking early with these words in my memory, I rose from my bed knowing what I wanted to do as soon as I entered my space in Studio Eidolons–sketch the solitary fly fisherman. For the moment, I am ready to lay aside plans for finished watercolor paintings and instead fill up some pages in the sketchbooks with experimental techniques. My hope is that experimentation will free me up to discover new ways and methods for rendering subjects in water media. I have always been afraid and tight when it came to inserting the human figure into my compositions. Hopefully I can break through that barrier with these new attempts.

I am sketching these from photos Sandi took of me with her phone while fishing recently in the Guadalupe River and last September when I was in the South Fork of the Rio Grande. Both locations provided an abundance of memories that visit me as I work on these this morning.

My artist friend Cindy Thomas has created a seven-minute film of me painting in Studio Eidolons and fly fishing in the Guadalupe. The rough cut has already been given to me, and watching it has been so warmly satisfying. Once the film is complete, I look forward to sharing it online for those who wish to view it. The water in the Guadalupe was clear as an aquarium, and the sunlit beauty of the setting was stunning, as was the thirty-degree temperatures.

My experience last September at South Fork, Colorado was also scintillating, to say the least. A foot of snow had fallen the day before, and as I stood in the stream, a fresh, heavy, wet snowfall doused me, and the brown trout rose with an enthusiasm I have seldom experienced on the stream. I have those photos laid out for potential sketches as well.

Thanks for reading.

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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