Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wasatch Plein Air Paradise 2011, and Another Demo.

The Midway plein air competition (WPAP) just ended. The main competition began Friday, June 24th, but I didn't get registered and start painting until the next day. The river was running much higher than usual. Some of the places I had planned to paint were flooded.

As I scouted around Heber Valley, I saw these signs posted at every river access, giving me something else to worry about ( as with most images here, click on picture for larger image):

I found a place to paint and set up:

At the earliest stage of the painting, I tone the canvas panel, and work out the composition and drawing:

Without waiting for the under painting to dry, I begin blocking in with color:

Then I begin to work from larger shapes to smaller shapes:

Here's the finished painting, an 11" x 14" Oil on canvas panel.

Later in the day, I attempted another painting, but wasn't satisfied with the results, so I wiped it. Two days later I went back to where I first saw the bear poster, and was attacked - by mosquitoes! They have posters there for that, too:

I took the 9" x 12" canvas panel I wiped on Saturday, and painted this:

Here's the second one of the day, with frame; an 11" x 14" oil on canvas panel:

The next day I went to a different section of the river. There I saw another poster warning about bears. I thought it was funny where they put this poster - on a public restroom! I've always heard that "bears do it in the woods," but maybe the DNR is potty training them. Better knock first before going in there!

Here's the efforts from that day framed, 9" x 12" oil on canvas panel:

While painting at this spot, I was visited by a water snake, a couple muskrats, and a Western Grebe. The grebe kept popping up onto the water's surface for several seconds at a time, and then would dive underwater again for a while.

The following day, Wednesday, began partly cloudy and warm. I drove way up Snake Creek Canyon to paint.

Is this gate half open or half closed?

That's what I thought!

There were a few minor challenges farther up the road:

I set up overlooking Heber Valley, and started painting. Then the clouds began to thicken. Soon there was thunder and lightning, some of it a little too close! Rain started, became heavy, and mixed with hail. I took shelter in the car, and tried to paint under the hatchback from time to time when the storm would let up a little. The temperature began dropping fast, and I began to get chilled. Rainclouds completely obscured the valley, and I decided it was time to quit and get out of there! 

A lot more heavy rain, lightning and thunder as I headed back down the canyon. I had driven up with the air conditioning on, and drove back with the heater on full blast! (I do have warmer clothes and rain gear in a day pack I brought with me, but I decided to wear the car, instead.)

Here's what the weather allowed me to paint that day, 9" x 12" oil on canvas panel, framed:

Monday, the Fourth of July, was the Midway quick paint. Check in between 7 and 9 AM, and turn finished paintings in by 1 PM. The day was overcast with occasional drizzle. Here's my morning's efforts:

I'm looking forward to the rest of the plein air competition season!

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