Monday, September 25, 2017

Camping above Sagebrush Flat & distant view of the Tetons.

(Take Note: for those of you who have signed up to be notified by email of new postings to this blog, you have been receiving not just a notification, but an actual copy of the new blog posting as the email.  As this does not show the images of the paintings in the best possible light, you should click on the title of the latest blog posting at the top of the post, and not the title of the painting itself; this will open up the actual blog itself, and you may then enjoy the paintings at their best.)

Sunday, September 10, 2017 to Friday, September 15, 2017; to the Tetons ... sort of, Part 2.

“Evening Sage”
Oil Painting on Pannelli Telati fine Cotton Panel
6” x 8”


Note: the painting is not yet signed in the photo above, but will be soon.

1st Light on Grand Tetons, 23 miles distant, from my campsite.

Morning light on Mount Leidy.

Sage brush Flat is out of sight between me and Mount Leidy.

Sunday: the second smokeless day in a row!  Hope it keeps up.  Even though there was some cloud about, and a few droplets that developed into nothing, I was able to top up my AGM battery, with my suitcase solar array, from 78% to 91% capacity, by days end.  It seems to have still slowly charged even during a lengthy, cloudy spell; I will have to keep an eye on that to see if that truly is the case.  Got some photo processing done in the morning, which brought my battery down to 77% before I set up the solar.  I would have set it up earlier, but it really was a cloud cover at that time.  Then got started on a small Oil in the afternoon.  By sunset the cloud had dissipated, and the silhouette, of the Tetons against the twilight was absolutely lovely.  And now, the stars are out and I’m watching Scorpio slowly sinking into the southwest, as I earlier watched Jupiter disappear behind the South Teton.  Saturn is between Scorpio and Sagittarius, which is trailing the Scorpion.  M7, an open cluster off the tail of Scorpio, touched the summit of Mount Leidy, and then slid down its western slope, eventually disappearing behind the western spur.

The Aspens are beginning to turn.

Again those rays appearing opposite the Sun,
which is rising in this case.

Monday: an almost cloudless day … all day.  There was a slight haze before day’s end, which I believe was smoke, according to my throat.  Jupiter set dim and red for the last few minutes, during which time I used binoculars.  The stars are bright, but not quite as bright as last night, but wonderful nevertheless.  I spotted Jupiter when twilight was still quite bright, and as I was enjoying the afterglow a bright meteor fell into the still bright West … it would have been spectacular if it had fallen in the dark after twilight’s end.  I have never seen a meteor against that bright of a sky.  Another painting completed today, inspired by yesterday’s early morning cloud shrouding the tops of the Grand Teton and Mount Owen, but with a bright middle distance, full of sunlight and foreground in cloud shadow, throwing the bright area into relief against the shadowed Tetons.

Chipmunk stuffing its cheeks …
gather ye seed-heads while ye may, 

little guy, for we all know … “Winter is Coming.”

In the Aspen Grove.

A settled Camp.

My view for several days.

Wednesday: A dawn rain cleared the atmosphere, displaying the distant Tetons to at their best since arriving at this campsite.  The day was then clear enough to put out my solar array until about 15:00, when the showers that had been passing by to north and south finally headed my way; I got the solar put away just in time.  Almost finished the next painting of “Evening Sage,” but will finish it in the morning.  Showers are expected tomorrow as well.

After the Dawn Rain.

Tetons, fresh & clear.

Looks to be a nice day.

Light & shade on the Tetons.

Then showers pass by both north & south
and eventually on me.

Evening showers on Mount Leidy.

And an interesting end to an interesting day.


And then a new day.

The photo sequence in this post, shows how a few days in one place allows me to get a feel for a place, and all the variations in lighting and weather that I experience, and that may lead to further paintings.

Friday: Snow in the mountains forecast, so I’m heading for Jackson Hole and the Tetons.  But first I went to Lily Lake, a couple more miles into the mountains from my campsite, and took a few photos from inside my truck … an anti-rain tactic.  Then back out the nine miles to the highway, filled my water bottles at the campground there, and stopped into the Ranger Station a quarter mile up the road to pick up a vehicle use map of this National Forest … then on into Jackson 35 or so miles down the road.  The rain stopped on the way there.  I spent the afternoon in the library, after which I spent about half an hour getting a feel for the historic downtown area.  Superficially it reminded me of Aspen, but I never got to walk around downtown Aspen, since I never found a parking place.  I got the feeling, even from the confines of the driver’s seat, that Aspen was a bit ‘snooty’, as someone I met here in Jackson said … I agreed.  Jackson is a bit smaller, but has a lot of Galleries and interesting shops, and the people seem more laid back … not poseurs.  I may be doing Aspen a disservice, and perhaps I may someday get the chance to rectify my impressions.  But they are different places when all is said and done, and both do seem to have their own sense of community.

Somewhere out there lies Mount Leidy.

Lily Lake, on Flagstaff Road.

Autumn Aspen at Lily Lake.

Mountain mist on the other side of the road.

Sagebrush Flat from just below my recent campsite.

There will be a few days until my next post as I will be painting and photo-reconnaissance of the Tetons and Yellowstone, before I move on south.

The pigments used were:

Imprimatura: Rublev Ercolano Red;

Drawing: W&N Cobalt Blue;

Painting: W&N Venetian Red, Cobalt & Ultramarine Deep Blues, also a touch of Cerulean, Cadmiums Orange & Yellow Pale;

Rublev:Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre, Ercolano Red, Purple Ochre & Lead White #1.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

On to the Tetons ... sort of.

(Take Note: for those of you who have signed up to be notified by email of new postings to this blog, you have been receiving not just a notification, but an actual copy of the new blog posting as the email.  As this does not show the images of the paintings in the best possible light, you should click on the title of the latest blog posting at the top of the post, and not the title of the painting itself; this will open up the actual blog itself, and you may then enjoy the paintings at their best.)

Saturday, September 9, 2017 to Friday, September 15, 2017; to the Tetons ... sort of.

“Morning Light … Grand Teton Tops lost in Cloud”
Oil Painting on Centurian Oil Primed Linen Panel
4” x 6”


Saturday: After photo-recon near the boat landing, I finally left Brooks Lake, taking the road past the Brooks Lake Lodge, on what turned out to be a relatively desperate road about five or six miles to Wind River Lake and US Hwy 26/287.  I did not need 4-wheel drive, but a high clearance vehicle is a necessity, and in wet weather the mud to the west of Barbers Point, the highest point on the road, could be a killer, sending one sliding off into the valley below.  I found this out from a chap who works at the lodge, who had driven a couple of guests to fish at Wind River Lake.  I was surprised when arriving at the end of the road that there was no sign warning RVs and Winnebagos not to attempt it, as it is single track for much of the way.  Wind River Lake is a small lake, really a large pond, by Minnesota standards, and is considered by some to be the headwaters of the Wind River.  It is also just a few hundred yards from the crest of Togwotee Pass. 

View from Barbers Point back the way I came … that’s the good section.

Two Ocean Mountain in the distance … still on the desperate road to Wind River Lake.

High Mountain Meadow.

Could be Moose country.

Back side of Sublette Peak and Wind River Lake.

Sunbreak on Brooks Mountain.
There was a Bald Eagle at the lake, and I wondered whether it was the same one I’d seen at Brooks Lake, which was not at all far as the Crow Eagle flies.  There is a good view here of the far side of Sublette Peak from that which I’d been looking at for ten days; also of the south end of Brooks  Mountain.

On the desperate road I met Doug, a hiker, doing part of the Continental Divide Trail, but who was heading home to Idaho for a few days of rest and recuperation, as he had encountered some foot problems during the past few days on the trail.  I would like to have given him a ride towards Jackson Hole, but my truck is full to the brim … my bed area has a lot of stuff on it during the day, especially when driving, that gets moved at night.  The passenger seat has 7 gallons of water in strapped into it, and in the foot well I have my deep cycle AGM battery, as well as another 3 gallons of water in 9 stainless steel flasks, and on top of that is a small backpack with my essential painting and drawing kit.  Hope you got a lift all the way to Jackson, Doug.  As it was I was only going another 20 miles down the highway, before turning off onto Forest Road 30168 (also known as Flagstaff Road), ending up at a site above Sagebrush Flat, about seven miles in.  Here I have a view of the cluster of peaks around the Grand Teton, 23 miles distant; Mount Moran is out of sight to the right, blocked by the slope of the hill I am camped on.

Mountain Man Country.

The old Blackrock Ranger Station.


Mary’s Lake on the way to my next campsite
above Sagebrush Flat.

Mount Leidy from my campsite … Sagebrush Flat is below me
between here & there and out of view.  I’m about 7 miles south
of the Blackrock Ranger Station.

Sagebrush Blossoms.

First Evening

Aspens beginning to turn.

Tetons on my second Evening …
the Grand Teton is the tallest Peak seen.

For you tech-heads the pigments used were:

Imprimatura: W&N Venetian Red

Drawing: W&N Ultramarine Deep

Painting: W&N Venetian Red, Cobalt & Ultramarine Deep Blues, also a touch of Cerulean, Cadmiums Orange & Yellow Pale.

Rublev:Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre, Italian Burnt Sienna, Purple Ochre & Lead White #1.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Snow on the Mountains at Jackson Hole.

September 22, 2017; Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Yesterday morning, September 21st.

So … I am posting this in real time, and will get back to the proper sequence of events with the next posting.  Last Friday I came out from my northern Wind River Range campsite, with a view of the Grand Tetons 23 miles away (see the next two posts when they are posted), because there was a chance of snow … chance of SNOW(!) … I mean it was 75ºF the day before, on the 14th of September!!!  So I had the foresight to dig out my long-johns and light Winter boots (as opposed to my super heavy duty Winter boots), even though it was 75ºF.  Good thing, since it was in the forties Fahrenheit on the Friday, and wet and even though I didn’t put the long-johns or boots on, they were to hand when needed.  I toddled on down to Jackson Hole, and posted on my blog (which I’ve been doing for the past week, amongst other PC work), and that night found a campsite up in the Gros Ventre Range on the east side of Jackson Hole (the Teton Range being on the west side).

View northeast from my camp.
I expected a few flurries and a dusting of snow, which is what we got, and then back to warmer temperatures.  But the cooler weather has remained and on Wednesday night a Winter Storm Warning was issued for 8 to 18 inches in the mountains above 8500’!  I was at 8570’ that last Friday, but at 7913’ ever since.  And at my altitude I found about 4” on my vehicle on Thursday morning … the 21st September(!) … 1st day of Autumn(!!).  I was only worried about getting down the mountain … I didn’t want to slide over the edge and go rolling down the mountainside, but I needn’t have worried, as the ambient temperature of the gravel road, melted off the snow, and so it was not a problem.  I did however go slower than normal as I didn’t want to hit any slippery mud sections and disappear over the side through negligence.  Of course 1900’ below it was only a cold rain in Jackson.  I went back up last night and more snow this morning, but it was warmer this morning.  I do love it though, these variations in weather; it makes for a wider range of subject matter for future works.  It is interesting that the first snows have fallen, yet so many of the deciduous trees still are green, and even up on the mountain, the Aspens have yet to reach their prime.

Ambient road temperature keeps the snow down … only one pick-up truck has passed by.

The long-johns did go on last Saturday, and the Winter boots, only on Wednesday night.  When the cloud clears, I am looking forward to serious recon of this area with all the new snow on the mountain tops.  I shall take a few days to do so, hopefully a painting or two, buzz briefly through Yellowstone (much fewer visitors due to the weather), and then head down to the four corners region … to the Europeans, that is where the States of Colorado, Utah, Arizona & New Mexico all connect.  Warmer still at this time of year.  So here are a few photos of the snow.

The lower slopes of the Tetons in sunlight to the west,
below the cloud above me.

Close up view … I think that is the Grand Teton.

Cloud rising.
Is it clearing or is that just a sucker hole
(Portland-speak for ‘a break in the cloud that suckers you into believing it is going to clear’)

On the down the mountain.

Oh! … more sucker holes?

The first dispersed campsite up the mountain …
this guy is hard-core; note glimpse of hammock under the tarp to the right.

And down on the valley floor with the outskirts of Jackson in the distance.