Posts Tagged ‘Crested Butte’

First Attempt at Plein Air Oil, Crested Butte, August 12, 2010

August 12, 2010

First plein air oil painting attempt, Crested Butte

It’s getting late (and cold) in Almont, Colorado.  Like Eddie Albert on Green Acres climbing the utility pole to use the phone, I have to leave my cabin, cross the street and sit on the front porch of the general store of Three Rivers Outfitters to access their wireless Internet.

I didn’t have the courage to post a close-up of this painting, so I photographed it lying in the back of my Jeep.  Finally I worked up the courage to attempt a plein air oil painting.  Sandi and I were in Crested Butte all day, and it rained off and on throughout the afternoon.  Finally, I set up my French easel and went to work on the same church cupola that I watercolored en plein air from a different angle the other day.

It constantly drizzled on me as I toiled over this, but I’m not using that as an excuse.  I found myself in unfamiliar territory as I worked oil on canvas, and very little of it I found pleasant.  I guess I expected too much of myself on the first attempt.  It will certainly not be my last.  I’m glad I gave it a shot.  And I’m glad I was in Colorado when I did it.  I really wanted to try this in Kremmling several days ago, but the days were dark and overcast.  I also brought my equipment to Creede, but the constant thunderstorms also led me to decide against it.  Were this not my last day in Colorado, I would have allowed the weather to postpone my attempt as well.  I’m glad I saw it through.  Once I return home, I plan to set up the easel in the backyard and work further on this piece.

We leave tomorrow morning, early, for Lubbock, Texas and triple-digit temperatures.  I may find some plein air opportunity if I can find decent shade.  Not sure what I’ll find there.

Thanks for reading.

Finished the Crested Butte plein air piece, August 11, 2010

August 11, 2010

plein air watercolor at Crested Butte

I finally finished the watercolor that I spent an hour working on location at Crested Butte last evening.  Initially, I was satisfied with the church cupola, but very unsatisfied with the distant mountain range.  It had turned to a dark slate gray.  I took a washcloth soaked in water and scrubbed the mountain range until it was light again.  Then I worked on contrasting warm and cool colors, just as I had seen it live.  Thanks to a digital camera and this laptop computer, I could project the image of the landscape that I had photographed just before beginning the plein air study. Technology can be such a wonderful friend, especially outside the studio.  I’m satisfied now with the light and shadow contrasts within the mountain range–those were what prompted me to do this study to begin with.

Thanks for reading.

Watercolor Sketch in Crested Butte, August 10, 2010

August 10, 2010

church in Crested Butte, Colorado

Took about 45 minutes to do this quick watercolor sketch while strolling Crested Butte, Colorado.  The sun was setting low and I liked this rim of mountains behind this church cupola.  The mountain range did not come out the way I wanted so I took a cloth towel and water and scrubbed it of most of its color.  I’ll return to that later and try to get the sunwashed mountain colors and cool shadows into place.

Thanks for reading.  If all goes according to plan, I will attempt my first plein air oil painting since about 1976.  I’ll make this attempt in Creede, Colorado.  We’ll see how that goes.