Painting at Hart’s Basin.

Looking south across the reservoir.

Looking south across the reservoir.

Unfinished watercolor done at Hart's Basin.

Unfinished watercolor done at Hart’s Basin.

Today I went to Hart’s Basin near Eckert, CO. I needed a break from the indoor studio and had to get outside. The day started foggy and raining but was supposed to clear by mid-morning. I packed some hot tea, my watercolor plein air kit, extra fleece and the dog. I got in the truck & headed west.

By the time I got to the reservoir, the fog had lifted and the clouds were fluffing across the sky. I set up my paints and put the dog in the back of the truck as there were lots of water birds. As Tova is a black lab, it was the responsible thing to do. There were lots of coots, mergansers, Sandhill cranes and some other unidentified ducks. The water was turning lovely colors from slate to blue to tan. The plants were in their early winter colors of tans, oranges, golds and browns. It was lovely.

Sandhill crane

Sandhill crane

Some coots swimming, diving and quacking.

Some coots swimming, diving and quacking.

I got out the viewfinder and picked a scene looking south across the reservoir. I did a quick sketch on the watercolor pad and started laying in my color layers.

Getting my set-up out

Getting my set-up out

My outdoor watercolor studio.

My outdoor watercolor studio.

After a while the cloud cover increased and I noticed my paints getting a bit thick and my fingers a little unresponsive. So I put on the heavier gloves and a headband under my fuzzy hat and enjoyed the view. The water fowl were busy fishing, diving, quacking, making other assorted noises, splashing and flapping around. It was almost too much for Tova but she stayed in the truck, quietly whining to let me know she really wanted me to stop painting and let her jump in the water and get some birds. I closed her in the truck, packed up and headed home, heater blasting.

Tova, almost beside herself as she can't go after those birds!

Tova, almost beside herself as she can’t go after those birds!

I’d like to go back out there another day t0 paint the adobe cliffs. And work on my water painting techniques. Hopefully next time I’ll have my oil pochade box ready…..!

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