Sunday, April 12, 2015

Bird Counters … Encountered

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"December … High Desert"
(North Slope of Adams Butte … towards Steens Mtn.)
Oil Sketch on Fredrix Canvas Panel
4" x 6"


(Take further Note: the images and incidents herein occurred in December 2014.)

As I was leaving the campground this morning, I was surprised to meet a bloke and a couple of ladies, having not seen anyone since the snow plow driver the day of my arrival at Hart Mountain.  They were on an annual bird counting program; I think for the Audubon Society, but I could be wrong about that.  They had no knowledge of the forecast for the next few days, so I was stuck with only the daily weather information, which was only loosely applicable to this area.  I left them to their count, while I went on my way.

After painting in the hot springs valley for the past couple of days, I made it to the top of the hill before I stopped the truck to begin painting.  The view past a rocky spur of Adams Butte, just a few hundred yards off, with Steens Mountain, forty miles distant beyond, with its tops lost in the cloud, had caught my attention.  The miles of intervening distance is depicted with just a few horizontal strokes of paint, and the lower slopes of Steens Mountain, below the cloud, with just a few more.  If you were intimately knowledgeable about the area, you would know the distances involved and the geographical features depicted, and that might enhance your enjoyment of the painting, and those few strokes of pigment hopefully serve to indicate some large, but indeterminate distance to some highlands or mountains beyond, whether or not you know that it is Steens Mountain forty miles distant.  The bird counters passed by during the early stages of the painting; I wonder how their numbers and species compared to previous years?

Imprimatura: Venetian Red.

The Pigments used were:  Rublev Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre, Italian Burnt Sienna, Lead White #2 & Flemish Lead White, with Winsor & Newton Cobalt & Cerulean Blues and Venetian Red.

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