Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Evening in the Coast Range

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"Evening in the Coast Range"
Oil on RayMar Portrait Quality Linen Panel
6" x 8"

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At the beginning of July I downed tools on the two large commissioned Oils I’ve been working on and headed down to the coast to deliver the three paintings that are included in the Coos Art Museum 22nd Annual Maritime Show (here).  I usually camp on private property outside of Bandon, 25 miles further on than is Coos Bay, but as I approached Coos Bay, I decided there was no point in going further, just to retrace my steps in the morning to make my delivery; thus I headed up into the Coast Range and found a likely spot a few miles in.  After supper I enjoyed the Sunset, and later in the gloaming I watched Venus and Jupiter sinking into the west, while the full Moon rose to my left in the east, and a few bats flitted about enjoying their insectoid suppers.  I had been much taken by the evening colours as the sun fell through the trees and especially after it had set, so I thought I might delay my week of painting on the Bandon Coast, and return up here in the Coast Range to paint after I delivered the paintings to the Coos Art Museum.  Watching the mist rising in the valleys in the morning confirmed my decision.

I drove a roundabout route to the Museum, via Silver & Golden Falls State Park, as I had never been there before, although I had thought about it from time to time; well worth it, even though one has to walk further these days to view the two falls, since one must park much further away nowadays.  Silver & Golden Falls are not easily photographed, but I managed to get enough working shots, for future reference.  The views I would most like to paint are also footpath blocking spaces, so I will have to work from photos for these at some point; there would be several places to paint sections of the base of the falls, and maybe I will sometime.  I had to do some desperate bushwhacking scrambles around Golden Falls to get some of views I photographed, but that is many times de rigueur in my game, both for taking reference photos and for painting.  There will come a time when I will not be able to do this … but not yet.

After dropping off the works, in Coos Bay (the town), I drove back north through North Bend (not Bend across the Cascades in the High Desert 200 miles distant), and across Coos Bay (the water) over the big bridge, turned right onto North Bay Road, and before again turning right and heading back on the forest roads into the mountains, I stopped to take a few photos of North Bay in the late afternoon light; North Bay is an arm of Coos Bay.  I enjoyed another evening similar to the night before, but this time I got to see distant fireworks through a notch in the hills across the valley.  This was quite unexpected as it was only the 3rd of July, but I enjoyed the display, and they were seen best through my binoculars, and heard a lot of their thunder, even though they were about 9 or 10 miles distant.  Of course I only saw those that were shot into the sky, but I always prefer those to any those that are at ground level anyway.

With this painting I used a split palette, painting the evening sky with the more modern and brighter colours and darkened ground vegetation with the earth palette I’ve been using most of this past year.  I also applied my imprimatura only to the lower half of the panel, thus reserving the white of the ground to reflect the brighter pigments used in the evening sky.

Imprimatura: Venetian Red.

The Pigments used in the sky were: Winsor & Newton Cerulean & Cobalt Blues, Cadmiums Yellow Pale, Orange, & Red, Rose Madder Genuine, Cremnitz and Titanium Whites, and a bit of Venetian Red to mix with Cobalt Blue for the subtle pale purply greys in the clouds.

And for the ground Rublev Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre, Italian Burnt Sienna, with Winsor & Newton Cobalt & French Ultramarine Blues, Venetian Red, and Cremnitz White were the usual suspects.

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