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"Forest Road in the Coast Range"
Oil on Ampersand Gesso Panel
5" x 7"
I moved camp a further five miles into the Oregon Coast Range onto a spur a half mile onto a side road. Again I had views of the open sky and forested slopes from here, although these are a little behind me in the opposite direction as seen in this painting of the forest road. The previous campsite was directly on the main forest road, and though sparse there was occasional traffic passing by. This new campsite is a bit more secluded, and the three days & nights I stayed here only one vehicle appeared up where the road disappears in the painting, just as the sun was sinking below the horizon. It reversed and no doubt found some other place to set up camp. I am always on the lookout for the chance to capture a forest road in paint; all too often there is no place to set up and paint, but this was one of the good ones, where I could camp and paint. The deer came browsing along while in the midst of my working on this, so I dabbed them in. Actually there was only one, but I preferred there to be two (painters can do this, since we are Artists, and not reporters … we move things around, for example rocks or trees, and might selectively eliminate something altogether ... or put something in that was not there). To watch her slowly strolling down the road, browsing on the vegetation along the verge, was enjoyable … and peaceful. She came about as far as is depicted in the painting, and then decided that she wasn’t sure about what the obstruction in the road ahead was all about, and after studying me for awhile, she slowly reversed direction and browsed back up the lane. I never moved so as not to frighten her, and so she never bolted, just decided that wariness was the better part of valor. I’m always surprised how large their ears are … almost Mickey Mouse ears. I love days like this.
I had to work on this on two consecutive days. I tend to forget how slippery the paint is on these gesso panels if I haven’t previously applied a layer of lead ground, or if I don’t use an Alkyd Medium in the early stages, so that later in the process the paint will grab a bit more. I got so far on what I might call and underpainting or a block-in on the first day, and packed it in until the next day when that first layer gripped the ensuing brush strokes a bit more, and thus more pleasing to work with. The deer appeared during this second day. I could have stayed longer at this campsite, but I thought I had better get on down to Bandon, and see what I might find on the coast … also I had emailed my friends and told them I probably would turn up to camp on their property six days earlier … it was time I made an appearance down there.
Imprimatura: Venetian Red.