Posts Tagged ‘Troublesome Creek’

I Would Rather Be Fly Fishing

April 5, 2012

I Would Rather Be Fly Fishing

Again, I admit a blog hiatus.  After last weekend’s three-day art festival, I was exhausted, returning to school at 7:35 the next morning, still ill from the allergy symptoms suffered last week, and totally run-down. I’ve spent most of this week in school and in bed, with little in between.

Two days ago, tornadoes destroyed over 400 homes in my city, coming within 1/4 mile of my house.  Surrounded by destruction, and looking at the faces of many of my students who have lost their homes, I’m devastated at this turn of fortune.  There is no describing the loss that I see all around me now.  There is so much pain.

I think I have finished this watercolor sketch that I began while in my booth at the last festival (Kennedale’s Art in the Park).  While my Art I students are finishing an assignment before sailing into the three-day weekend, I’ve been at my desk fiddling with it.  I changed the color of my shirt in order to make me stick out a little more.  Also I darkened and salted the water more for contrast and drybrushed lightly more weeds about my feet and landing net.  More tree foliage needed to be drybrushed as well.  I think I have done about all I can.  The setting of this sketch is Troublesome Creek, northwest of Denver, and east of the town of Kremmling.  The creek flows into the Colorado River.  Trophy trout cruise those waters, and I have pulled out dozens of them–rainbows, brookies, cutthroats and browns.  I even hit a grandslam the last time I visited there (all four species caught in the same day).

Soon, I hope to pursue a series of watercolors on the fly fishing theme.  I have dozens and dozens of digital photos on file that I have taken over the years during my own excursions to Colorado, north Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas in search of trout.  I am looking over a museum catalog I purchased on Winslow Homer’s fly fishing watercolors.  I attended that show when it came to Fort Worth’s Amon Carter Museum, and saw another major retrospective of his watercolors at the Art Institute of Chicago a few years ago.  I need to  devote more time to studying his techniques.

I miss Colorado so much that I ache.  It has been two summers since I last enjoyed those mountain streams and the thrill of painting the front range.  I wish to God I could get there this summer, but I’ll have to wait and see.

Tomorrow I will visit Malakoff, Texas for the first time and experiment with some plein air painting.  I am thrilled to have been invited to teach a two-day workshop there next Thursday and Friday.  I’m going there tomorrow to “scout” the town so I can know in advance what kind of landmarks my workshop participants can sketch in watercolor.  I really hope to meet some of the participants tomorrow when I get there.

Though I have been under the weather for a considerable time (and doing very little blogging) I have been immersed in the writings of Paul Gauguin (The Writings of a Savage).  I don’t have the itch to go to Tahiti, but I would love to adopt his “savage” lifestyle in the mountains of Colorado, if only I could go there for awhile.  I have no foolish ideas about living off the land and the trout I catch–I would be satisfied with canned goods.  But I would love to study the color and light there, the mountains, rock formations, streams and Aspens.  I really need to find new directions in my work.  I hate it when I feel that I am doing “hack” work, whipping out watercolors for the trade.  I’m only happy when I’m a student of this craft, always learning new things.

Thanks for reading.

 

Troublesome Creek Fly Fishing–2nd Watercolor Attempt

March 31, 2012

Troublesome Creek Fly Fishing, #2

I am nearing the end of day two of Art in the Park.  The sun just dropped  beneath the horizon, so I can no longer tinker with this watercolor.  But I am more enthused with the way it’s developing than the first that I did earlier today.  I am enjoying the effects of the salt in the water and foliage, and I like how the masquepen worked on the tree limbs and trunks.  I would have liked to have devoted more time to the fly fisherman, but, as I said, it’s darkened now, and I dare not try to watercolor under dim evening light.

I’m exhausted by two consecutive weekend festivals.  I supposed I’ve gotten too old to keep up the pace.  My allergies are a little better, but I’m still not at 100%.  But it feels good to be fiddling with watercolor again, and I do enjoy the festival atmosphere.  Tomorrow we’ll close at 5:00.

Thanks always for reading.

Saturday at Art in the Park, Kennedale, Texas

March 31, 2012

Troublesome Creek Fly Fishing

Today is Saturday at Kennedale Texas.  I’m participating in Art in the Park.  The weather is absolutely beautiful, but the attendance is quite thin, so I have plenty of time to do watercolor in the booth.  I started and finished this one today, and if the crowds don’t pick up soon, it looks as though I’ll start (and perhaps finish) a second piece.  I worked from a photo that my guide shot of me angling a 24″ Cutthroat Trout at Troublesome Creek in Kremmling, Colorado, northwest of Denver.

The sun is so bright outside that I can barely see this image on my laptop.  If I find out later that it is badly reproduced, I’ll clean it up and re-post it.  I use Photoshop to sharpen my photos, but honestly, I cannot see anything in this bright light today.

Besides watercoloring, I am reading with great delight the Journals of the Romantic painter Eugene Delacroix.  The man’s mind (as well as his paintbrush) excites me to no end.  He has made me feel like such a featherweight in my journal endeavors over the past few decades.  I am determined to find a way to discuss my theories on watercolor with the exactitude that he did with his oils.  For sure, I do not travel the exotic lands that he did, but still I am enough of a road trip warrior that I can surely penetrate these odyssey experiments better with the written word, and with a watercolor block and camera in hand.  I can’t wait for the summer season to come around so I can see about putting some of this to work.

Thanks for reading.  I think I’ll start another fly fishing watercolor sketch.

Thanks for reading.

Fly Fishing Troublesome Creek, Colorado

February 29, 2012

Troublesome Creek, Colorado

I have hit a snag, trying to find time from my school schedule to resume my Ridglea Theater watercolor.  Meanwhile, I’m posting my first fly fishing watercolor, created about five years ago.  The setting is Troublesome Creek, northwest of Denver, between the towns of Parshall and Kremmling.  I was guided by Bull Basin Outfitters, and thanks to my guide Bob House, had a fantastic day.  This was taken from a photo of my landing a 24-inch Cutthroat.  I did not even know my guide took the picture, using my camera, until two weeks later when I got home and began uploading photos from my digital.  I loved the composition, so I chose to render it in watercolor.  My favorite part of the painting is the stand of trees on the left border. I was working hard on the drybrush, trying to replicate an Andrew Wyeth effect.