A week or so ago I made a return trip to Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon. Instead of moving on, this time I set up an easel and made the painting shown above. Like so many places in the canyon, the falls are a favorite destination for sight seers and people out for a little recreation. A painter who sets up and works in such a place can expect a lot of onlookers. I don't mind the attention, and in fact usually enjoy short visits from people as I work. Sometimes people take photos of me as I paint. Here's a couple pics from that day, taken by one of those visitors.
Here's a charcoal portrait sketch made last Thursday at a drawing session. The session was at an artist's studio in a town about fifteen miles north of where I live. I took my charcoal drawing supplies with me to this session, but wish I had taken my bigger sketch box with the colors in it. That's because - her hair was purple! Or lavender might be a better way to describe it. I used what I had, that is, charcoal sketching supplies, so - no color. But you can imagine the model in the drawing pictured above with violet hair if you like. or you can imagine her with blonde hair, or auburn hair, or whatever color you can think of. However you imagine it, I enjoyed drawing her, even if it's just in black and white. For more about drawing sessions, go to "Labels" on the side bar and click on "sketching" or "drawing."
Summer's heat. The sun's rays seem to have real weight this time of year. It's radiance presses down upon everything in it's broad path. Though the morning sky may begin clear, throughout the day hot air builds and gathers clouds into towering shapes of domes and anvils. Clouds can grow to crowd out blue sky, bringing scattered thunderstorms by late afternoon.
In the fields west of town it's haying season. Different fields have hay in various stages of harvest - cut, raked or bailed. The long, converging lines of mown hay greet my eye in a way similar to Japanese zen gardens. Fields of cut hay rows are among my favorite things to paint.
The hay field shown in the picture above was adjacent to a bike path that parallels the river. From the path I walked through a row of trees and set up a pochade box in a scattered patch of milkweed. A few monarch butterflies busied themselves about the milkweed blossoms. The picture at the top of this post shows the painting I made that warm summer's day.
One of these days I may do an in-depth post about spending time outdoors. And not just outdoors, but in the wild. I don't get out to hike as often as I used to, or like to. So many things clamor for my time these days. But spending time in the wild has so many benefits. Some of those benefits run deep and can be gained no other way. Until that post, here's a short post about one of the little joys of going out into the wild.
Yesterday I took time (wish I didn't feel like I was "taking" something) for a hike in the Wasatch Mountains. Halfway up a canyon a bunch of wild red raspberry bushes grow right by the trail. The raspberries are just reaching the peak of ripeness now. I wondered how many people walk past these little gifts of nature without noticing them.
Pausing on my hike, I gratefully enjoyed a few handfuls of ripe raspberries, being careful not to take too many. Whether nature is being thoughtful or not in providing these gifts, I'm encouraged to leave plenty for others to enjoy. I won't say just where I found the raspberries. Part of the fun and excitement of exploring the wild is discovering these kinds of things for yourself. A little cautionary advice: take time to thoroughly research wild edibles beforehand. Make sure what you're eating really are raspberries (or whatever) and are safe to eat. Some thingsout therearen't. Don't poison yourself!
It's over. Saturday was the last day for the Wasatch Plein Air Paradise show in Midway, Utah. I'm so glad I was there, in spite of all the hot weather. The show was great, Heber Valley is a wonderful place to paint, and it was fun reconnecting with so many other painters. It's fun to meet so many collectors, also. Saturday afternoon I walked into the exhibit just as one art buyer was walking out with the very first painting I made for the show. Two more paintings were finished since my last post. Pictured above is the one I made last Tuesday, finished and framed a little before the main competition's deadline that afternoon. Wednesday and Thursday I played hooky. There were other things that needed done, plus a two day rest from all the heat and sun was much needed. I kind of wish I had been there for the Heber City paint out on Thursday, though. Maybe I should explain a little about what a paint out is. For the main competition, painters are allowed to paint anywhere in the county over the period of a few days. Paint outs are one day affairs, or even just half a day, and painters must work within a limited area in the town hosting the event.
Friday was the Midway paint out, and I made sure I was there. I set upto paint between the post office parking lot and a grassy field. Several people stopped to visit with me as I painted. One couple who visited came back later and said they had talked to the organizers of the show and told them they would buy my painting! Below is a photo of that painting. The photo isn't very good, but I hope it's good enough. There wasn't a lot of time to photograph the painting between it's completion and when it left the exhibit in the hands of its new owner.