St Xavier, en Plein Air Oil, 8″ x 10″
San Xavier (A-Vear) is a mission south of Tucson, AZ. Ansel Adams made it famous in his photos he did mid 20th century. I painted it en Plein Air when I was at the Plein Air conference in April 2016. It has been accepted to the exhibition: “Wish You Were Here”. It is a national juried exhibit of art that focuses on Southwestern Arizona. The show opens July 29 through August 28, 2016.
I know some artists who don’t like the public to see their unfinished works. Its supposed to convey a sense of professionalism to only display the finest and finished products and leave the public in a state of mysterious awe and wonderment. But I like for people to follow the drama, work, soul and transformation that a painting goes through before the artist (me) deems it complete.
In that vein of thought, I am showing a couple of my unfinished paintings I did while on my plein air slash camping trip through Nevada, Oregon, Washington, back through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and finally back in Colorado. The first one is a little creek, Clear Creek, in the Malhuer National Forest. It was along a road to a state park. Weather was clear and temps were mild, perfect!
The next one is of Silver Peak just north of Ketchum near Easely hot springs. Again a great day, slight breeze, cool temps, sunny with some fluffy clouds chasing by. Enjoy!
Clear Creek, work in progress
Silver Peak, work in progress
Cone at Craters of the Moon National Monument, ID.
After 4 days of cool temperatures, no wind and nights sleeping in the back of the truck in upper 30’s temperatures, we had a change of everything. We drove about 70 miles southeast to Craters of the Moon National Monument near Arco, Idaho. It was over 90° and windy.
We hiked around the lava and cinder cones and checked out the view. We even saw a horse pulled wagon along the road as its part of the Oregon Trail. Someone was reliving the past!
On the Oregon Trail in Idaho by Craters of the Moon National Monument.
We checked out the lava tube caves and I sketched an extinct cone and lava fields in the broiling sun and wind. Allen & Tova were under a limber pine at a picnic table enjoying themselves.
No cell service!
We were in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area for 4 days and 3 nights. The was no electricity, Internet connection or cell service. So I didn’t do any blogging, checking emails, phone calls or texts. And no art marketing. I was sketching and painting. So don’t feel bad for me. It was great!
Hiking out along the Harriman Trail near Easely Creek, ID.
The day after we got together with the McKelvy family, I got to do some painting! Tova and I hiked out into a field with a great view of Silver Peak.
Me, painting Silver Peak
Tova has a certain distinct style of assisting me when I’m painting. I am documenting it.
Tova, en Plein Air assistant!
Redfish Lake in the Sawtooth mountains in Idaho.
After Wenatchee, we drove on through Baker City, OR. The next day we drove through Boise, ID to meet up with our friends, the McKelvy family, in Easely, OR. Sue is my best friend and fellow plein air painter. We didn’t have time to paint at all as a large family gathering was taking place: We were scattering her mother and father’s ashes around the family summer cabin they owned over 30 years ago.
The view from the Visitor’s Center at Redfish Lake, ID
Afterwards we all drove over to Redfish Lake. What a beautiful spot! Sue & I lamented our lack of Plein Air time but we took a lot of photos. The view of the Sawtooth Range from just over Galena Summit was breathtaking.
The Sawtooth Range in Idaho.
The Icicle River in Washington State
Allen & I spent the late afternoon one day near Leavenworth, WA. We drove up the Icicle River. It was extremely scenic but very crowded with lots of people who were camping, hiking, climbing and kayaking. I didn’t see anyone doing any en Plein Air painting. And that included me. I did take a few photos.
A rapid on the Icicle River
I really would have liked to spend some time at least sketching so I could add some value notes to the photos I took. But compromise is important in any road trip.
Breath taking peaks tower over the river.
We are visiting our friends, Dave & Marjie in Wenatchee, WA for a few days. I’ve been Plein Air painting and Allen has been riding his bicycle.
Early yesterday morning I went to the Ohme Gardens and did a painting of the lovely hillside where lots of ferns were glowing in the morning light.
Today we went to the Columbia River Park park near the Pybus Market. Allen rode 50 miles while I did a painting along the river. Tova got to swim with her new friends and retrieve tennis balls from the water.
Here is a brief view of the paintings I’ve done so far on my trip:
Dave’s workbench with my paintings on it.
Tova, riding in a crazy oversized wagon in Oregon, on the trail of course.
On our way through Oregon, we camped at Malheur National Forest on the South Fork of the Burnt River. So did a whole town of people on OHV’s and in RV’s with loud generators. I did a little sketching of the trees as lots were over 100 feet tall.
Clear Creek in the Malheur National Forest, Oregon.
In the morning we headed out to look for a quiet spot where I could paint and a wide shoulder where Allen could ride his bicycle. I managed a nice painting of some cows in a flower filled field and a creek in the morning.
Tova, guarding the cattle guard and the Plein Air gear.
After an early lunch, I did another painting of some young Douglas Fir trees. I even managed to rig up an auto sun shade on my Strada easel which worked very nicely.
Painting in the Malheur National Forest.
The auto sun shade in action on my Strada mini.
Thanks to Kim Casebeer for the tips on that one! Tomorrow we are on our way to our friends house in Wenatchee, Washington and more Plein Air painting.
Pronghorn antelope at a cattle salt lick, NV.
The next stop was Wild Horse Crossing campgrounds in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, still in Nevada. Again rain stopped my painting so I turned to my sketch book while hunched under my umbrella. But the winds and hail drove us into the cab of the truck. We left in the morning, taking a Forest Service road through some wild lands and got to see pronghorn and wild horses.
Allen photographing an antelope
Threatening skies kept us going to our next stop in Oregon at the Malheur National Forest.