Sunday, August 14, 2016

Morning Mist in the Coast Range

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Sketchbook Drawing 20160707 Pg-57
"Morning Mist"
(Oregon Coast Range)
Sepia & Walnut Ink Drawing with Washes
on Fabriano Ingres 160 gsm paper bound in  Sketchbook

7" x 10”

During the previous days when I was working on the “Haynes Inlet” Oil, and enjoying watching the natural world surrounding me, I also went through my photographs of the, now daily, morning mists.  I chose several to work on in Photoshop.  This was also a time to really give my Suitcase Solar array a good workout.  I had purchased this some time ago, but had not had the chance to really give it a thorough testing.  I set it up outside the truck, ran 45 feet of cable to my Full-River AGM Deep-Cycle Battery nestling in the footwell of the front passenger seat, to keep that battery recharging while I worked on my PC.  With that length of cable my SUV and I were able to remain cool in the shade, while the solar array soaked up the sunlight.  I had built a plywood box to house my battery, and within the same box I had installed two 12-Volt DC sockets and a Tri-Metric meter to keep an eye on the state of the battery charge.  This meter is really essential to keep from abusing a very expensive battery.  This set up seems to be able to meet my electrical needs, which are my PC, tablet and phone, and also provides a backup in case I inadvertently rundown my auto battery while stationery in a campsite for an extended period.  Of course I cannot be profligate with my uses, as my power reservoir is not unlimited, and there are cloudy days.  I have digressed from my Photoshop work.  Once I got the photographs worked up I duplicated them and saved them as JPEGs, and transferred copies to my tablet via Bluetooth. 

As I was finishing up after supper on Thursday, July 7th, the clear and beautifully pristine weather looked to be at an end, for as the sun settled over the horizon, low clouds began to stream in from the WNW.  Singly at first and then in clumps, some grazing the hilltops, not sure whether they wanted to be clouds or rising mist; perhaps it was sea-mist that had risen to become cloud.  There was still sky showing between and even stars later on between these rapidly moving watery shrouds, but the previous promise of another wonderful starry evening had disappeared within half an hour.  And during the night I awoke to a light rain pattering atop my roof. 

It was a different kind of beauty in the morning, as clumps of mist rose out of the valleys to join with the low overcast above.  Showers came and went.  I took the photos of the misty mornings of the previous few days I had worked on, and between them I lightly composed the structure of a drawing in my large sketchbook, of light blue Fabriano Ingres paper.  This was a first for working in my outdoor sketchbooks, as normally I am drawing the scene before me.  And I still was to a certain extent, since the various foreground trees in the composition were before me for reference, even though I had rearranged them to make a drawing … just a reminder, that drawing and painting is not reportage, but to make Art.  Those familiar with my work, especially my quite detailed Watercolours, may think that they look photographic, but there have always been decisions made as to composition, and tone and colour.  Usually not so much in the sketchbooks, as they are mostly used for information gathering, but in the above drawing, the rearranging of the elements were necessary to best convey that information I wished to gather.

After I set down the structure of pencil lines, I headed for town and the Artists’ Preview at the Museum.  Nice to see acquaintances, at the opening, and concentrate on a few people close by at the wonderful meal at Puerto Vallarta Mexican Restaurant, over the road from the Museum.  I had the shrimp wrapped in bacon with rice, beans etc.; I discovered this dish here two years ago, and have since not been able to go for something different, at this event.  Back to camp, and then the next day back down for the general preview and wonderful dinner within the exhibition space itself.  This is when the aforementioned auction took place, and the little Oil, which I contributed for this event, sold.  After the festivities, it was back to my campsite, and the intermittent rain of the day settled in for the next 36 hours with only a couple of breaks long enough for me to do some water heating and cooking.  This was the perfect situation to continue on and finish with the above sketch.  Incidentally, I have dated it for the day I took the main recon photos.  My drawing implements consist of various pencils, mostly mechanical, Conté Crayons, Creta-colour chalks, Walnut Ink, Sepia Acrylic Ink, Roberson Kolinsky Sable brushes [whose handles unscrew to become protective caps … I got mine years and years ago at Cornelissen & Son on Great Russell St. in London], various dip pen nibs [of Japanese, American, and English manufacture], and their handles,  and the following tin of Watercolour pans & half-pans: Rowney Warm Sepia, W&N Sepia, W&N Burnt Umber, Light Red, Burnt Sienna, Naples Yellow, Cobalt Blue, Scarlet Vermilion, Cobalt Blue, Chinese & Titanium Whites.  This is a severe selection of Watercolours, but I mainly am intent on producing “Sepia” wash drawings, on toned paper, heightened with white.

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