Posts Tagged ‘fly fishing’

Fly Fishing on the Brazos Watercolor Sketch Finished

February 27, 2011

Fly Fishing the Brazos

I decided to add a diminutive fly fisherman working the currents in the lower left-hand corner of this sketch.  If I decide he doesn’t “work out,” then I’ll crop him out when I mat and frame the composition.  I’m glad to have another watercolor sketch “in the box,” and delighted that I had yesterday’s outing/odyssey.  But now I’d like to finish up that Eureka Springs BIG painting.  I’m getting kind of tired of looking at it and want to sign it off and drop it off.

Thanks for reading.

 

Escape to the River for Plein Air Painting and Fly Fishing

February 27, 2011

Highway 16 Bridge over the Brazos

Plein air study of Brazos River Bridge

Saturday offered a break-out day for me.  I set out early in the morning for a two-hour drive west to the Brazos River near Possum Kingdom dam.  Rainbow trout are released there on five different occasions throughout the winter months.  The day was wide open, as my wife Sandi was attending two separate equestrian events in Weatherford.  Along the way, I had to stop at a classic auto show, where I photographed a row of six Hudsons from 1937-1956.  I will no doubt be creating some watercolors of them sooner rather than later.  I also encountered an “Edward Hopper” painting composition–a magnificent Victorian house high on a hill, bathed in the morning sunlight.  Stopping also for a breakfast add-on, as well as a gasoline fill-up, cooler of ice for (hopefully) rainbow trouth and some bottled water, I began to wonder if I would make it before noon.  I did.

Last weekend, I was distracted by fly fishing, and at the end of the day, too pooped to get out the easel and paint, so this time I decided to reverse my priorities.  I set up my French easel alongside the boat ramp and tried to capture this magnificent Highway 16 bridge over the Brazos.  I worked as quickly as possible, mostly wet-in-wet, and then did some sharper definitional work, enough to capture where the details would lie.  The sun grew hotter, my back and neck started to ache, so I broke down the easel, rigged up the fly rod, struggled into my waders and boots, and descended to the river.  Like last week, I lost four and managed to get one on the stringer.  I guess that’s what comes with a barbless hook (for me, anyway).  The size 20 elk-hair caddis does manage to lure 10-12 inch trout to the surface, and I’ll never cease feeling the thrill of watching a riser bust the surface.

By 3:30, I was feeling weary, and knew that I had a two-hour road trip waiting for me, so I packed it in.  On both legs of the trip, I thrilled to the reading of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, narrated by Matt Dillon.  The timing was funny, as I encountered the row of parked Hudsons in Weatherford, just 15 minutes after Sal Paradise asked Dean Moriarty how he had gotten across the United States so fast to visit him.  Answer: “Aw man, that Hudson goes!”

Thanks for reading.  I’m still tweaking this watercolor and may have a different “look” by tonight.  Either way, I plan to be through with it by today’s end.  I have bigger fish to fry!

Fly Fishing Watercolor nearly finished, Halloween 2010

October 31, 2010

Fly Fishing in South Fork, Colorado

After letting this one sit for several months, I took it out this evening, hoping to finish it.  I have another festival coming in two weeks, and would love to complete some of my unfinished pieces lurking in the shadows of my disheveled studio.  This started out as a poured watercolor, and I’m trying to ease off on the brushwork, not wishing to wipe out some of the wonderful accidental effects that came from pouring and salting, mostly on the water and in the background thicket.

Compared to my other works, this is a larger piece, measuring 18 x 24″.  I need to get comfortable once again with larger watercolors.  I’ve been working the 9 x 12″ size for about a year, and fear that I’ve gotten too comfortable there.  I guess that’s a major feature of success in creating art–breaking out of those restrictive “comfort” areas.

Thank you for reading.

Finished the Small Fly Fishing Composition, October 26, 2010

October 26, 2010

Thunderstorm Rise

I finally finished this small 9 x 12″ watercolor that I started several weeks back.  I had never gotten around to finishing the hands, fly rod, and some of the foliage details.  I have another large fly fishing composition in progress that began as a “poured” piece.  Hopefully I will be posting it soon.

Thanks for reading.

Another attempt to paint on a miserably humid day, September 26, 2010

September 26, 2010

Troublesome Catch

This small watercolor I worked on during my second day of the Jazz by the Boulevard festival in Fort Worth.  The humidity index was off the charts, and I couldn’t keep my sweat off the paper!  I was pleased with much of this composition, and actually signed it.  But now I’ve changed my mind and will go back into it.  I believe the water surface needs more attention, and I’ve never been pleased with the color and value of the fly fisherman.  I’m thinking about sanding out portions of him and trying for a lighter re-do.  I don’t like how he disappears into the picture, and don’t want to darken him further.  Perhaps a more khaki color is needed in the clothing.  I’m very pleased with the cloud burst (that was an accident).  But I’m dissatisfied with the pair of pastures on the left side of the composition.  I think I’ll leave the foliage as it is.  This was a quick watercolor sketch, and I think it still has some possibilities.
Thanks for reading.

Unmasking the Fly Fishing Watercolor, July 8, 2010

July 8, 2010

South Fork, Colorado 1

Southfork 2

Southfork 3

Southfork 4

Southfork 4

I’ve just peeled away all the masking fluid from this piece, and to say I’m excited about what has come to light is an understatement.  I have finally learned how to draw with masking fluid, indeed even to paint with masking fluid.  For years all I had to show from masking was blobs of white on the paper that had to be “doctored.”  Now I pause, because I’m not sure exactly how to render all these white areas.  But I’ll figure out something.

Fly Fishing poured watercolor, July 8, 2010

July 8, 2010

South Fork Flyfishing 2

My studio time has been interrupted daily, but I think that is turning out to be a good thing.  This is a poured watercolor, and I have to walk away from it when it gets all wet and soupy.  It takes a long time for the puddles of watercolor to set and dry, and then I return and glaze over them, and then walk away again.  I think the interruptions have been good.

I like reading of how Andrew Wyeth took months and months to complete a single painting, because he required plenty of “composting” time to look at the composition from different angles and on different days.  It took him a long time to decide whether to go on or sign the painting and leave it.  This is what is happening with this one–I’m looking at it daily, and deciding where to go next with it.  It helps also that I have three other large paintings in progress; sometimes I just work on one of the others, and it also comes with its own set of problems, perspectives, decisions, etc.  So, in this instance, the daily interruptions of business and errands are a good thing–they are helping keep these new paintings fresh.

This particular piece I am truly getting lost in, and enjoying the experience.  Pouring, salting, scraping, dabbing with tissue–all of those instances are proving to be fun to watch.  And then there’s the brush work, the pencil work, the water-soluble graphite pencils, watercolor pencils and all the other wonderful paraphernalia that is sold to watercolor enthusiasts.  And infinite thanks goes to my Eureka Springs Plein Air students of last month who introduced me to the masquepen!  Wow!  All these years I have wrestled (and often lost) with those darned bottles of Art Masking Fluid!  Now I find a masking solution that is applied as if with a pen nib.  What a wonderful tool!

Well, I have to go to a gallery now and submit work for a show Saturday night.  But I will be back, with enthusiasm.

Thanks for reading.

Back from Eureka Springs, Arkansas, June 14, 2010

June 14, 2010

In the Stream

I have finally returned from a one-week plein air watercolor class I taught at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts in Arkansas.  The experience was fabulous for me–seven adult students very enthused about studying watercolor and applying techniques en plein air. I think that I actually learned from the experience more than they did–I honestly found them that inquisitive and stimulating.  They have inspired me to work even harder in exploring this enterprise.

What I have posted is an attempt at poured watercolor.  Those of you who have followed my blog will recognize the subject matter–I painted this before, only smaller (this one measures 12 x 16″).  I am the fly fisherman, and the setting is Beavers Bend, near Broken Bow, Oklahoma.  I’m working from a photograph my wife took while we were there in summer 2009.  On the first day of waterc0lor class in Eureka Springs, we were greeted with rain, so we chose to work inside the studio.  During the afternoon hours I began pouring the upper half of this painting to demonstrate pouring techniques to the students.  On Friday it rained again, so we stayed inside on that day as well.  It was then that I decided to make the lower half a fly fishing composition.

This painting is still in progress. There are plenty of rough edges to file away.  Hopefully I’ll get back to it this week–I have plenty of other tasks that have managed to stack themselves around me and my studio.  Tomorrow I hope to get back outside for some more plein air activity, although Texas is nearing triple digits daily and isn’t too pleasant for outside tasks.

Finally finished the fly fishing details, February 23, 2010

February 23, 2010

fly fishing Beavers Bend

I got so excited that I blogged about this without a picture (I was at school and without the proper technology).  I don’t know how well this is going to show up, but I was inspired this morning while looking through a catalogue of a show I saw a few years ago featuring Winslow Homer’s watercolors, titled: “Winslow Homer: Artist and Angler.”  He frequently painted those very subtle ringlets of water disturbance where a trout just rose.  I decided to insert several of those in the deep pool at the left, and then put the shadows of the trout beneath the ringlets.  I’ve always been excited to watch this while fly fishing in Colorado, and finally got around to attempting to depict it in watercolor.

Fly Fishing Completed, February 22, 2010

February 22, 2010

Beavers Bend Fly Fishing

I think I’ve done all I can with this one.  I only spent a few days on it from start to finish.  Pretty rough trying to pour watercolor over a 9 x 12″ surface.  Difficulty also with the drying process.  I used a watercolor block, and the paper took forever to dry out.  I think I worked rather impatiently.  Lost my contrasts and ended up with a rather dark, uniform low-contrast picture.  Nevertheless I learned some things, and am anxious to pursue another fly fishing composition, hopefully sooner instead of later.  Today wasn’t the best of days to try to paint.  I had high school classes all day and a college class at night.  Very little time to paint, and once I did, I was pretty fatigued.  At any rate, I’m glad I did another watercolor, and feel that I am building some momentum.  I hate long dry spells of not painting.