Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Ponderosa Evening.


 C1684
“Ponderosa Evening”
(Oregon High Desert)
Oil on Pannelli Telati Canvas  Panel
9” x 12”


The 4th of July was a quite magical day for me, perched as I was, high on the slopes of a mountainside south of Lake Timothy, Oregon Cascades, at 4400’ above sea level, and not a soul to disturb me the entire four days I was there. What made it magical was, that instead of fireworks, I had butterflies … all day … dozens of them flitting all about, and through my car, from one open door and out another, and setting about upon the car itself, sometimes a dozen, or more, on my door frame.  Pure magic!  And they were there the following two days as well, as soon as the Sun warmed them enough to come out from wherever they spent their nights … no doubt in some salubrious Butterfly Pub hidden from human eyes within the forest deeps. One even peed on me! I never knew they did that, having never witnessed that before. But as one was sitting on my sun visor, I happened to see it vibrate a bit and exude a fine spray of droplets onto my knee below. It soon evaporated to nothing. Not gross … a butterfly peeing on me is really the least of my worries. They seem to be mostly a type of Tortoiseshell and a few Painted Ladies … and there were Hummingbirds too!


There is less wildlife in evidence here in the deep forests of the Cascades, comparatively speaking to that which I observed out on the edge of the Ponderosa Pine Forests of the High Desert … I was out there again at the end of May and the first three weeks of June. One of the new dispersed campsites I found had as many as six or eight chipmunks in view at any one time, on occasion. Of course upon observing them with my book of North American Mammals in hand, I discovered that they were not all chipmunks. Some were Golden Mantled Ground Squirrels, which resemble a larger chipmunk, but have only two dark stripes on its back.  There was also another plainer ground squirrel, I did not identify. But the last few days there was only one chipmunk at a time, perhaps the same one, and a pair of Douglas Squirrels. A few Chickadees, a Raven and a couple of other birds (Varied Thrushes I think), were all I saw, again unlike out in the Ponderosas where I spotted many new ones, and there was always something flitting about. But it was good to be up there, these recent days, with the Rhododendrons in their prime as well as the Beargrass. In May out in the High Desert, the sagebrush was in its lovely silvery, with a hint of yellow, Spring greens, and the Antelope Bitterbrush (a type of Cliff Rose), was in bloom, as though a mist of Primrose Yellow coated the landscape (European Primroses, as I am not really familiar with the North American kind).

Beargrass

Close up

Edge of the Clearing where I was camped.



 
Antelope Bitterbrush


Closer ...

... Closer Still.

Pigments used in the painting:

Imprimatura: Rublev Italian Burnt Sienna;

Drawing: Rublev Italian Burnt Sienna;

Pigments: W&N Cobalt and Ultramarine Deep Blues, Cadmiums Orange & Yellow Pale;

Rublev: Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre, French Red Ochre, Italian Burnt Sienna, Lead White #1;

Schmincke: Caput Mortuum;

M. Graham: Cobalt Teal;

Michael Harding: Stack Lead White.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Evening Surf

C1683
“Evening Surf”
(Bandon, Oregon)
Oil on Pannelli Telati Canvas  Panel
6” x 8”



Close up of the Painting.

Angled view showing the Red Oxide
on the edge of the floated panel
and lip of the frame.

This painting is being listed for sale through the Daily Paintworks site for one week only as if it remains unsold by the end of the auction, it will be going into a Gallery.  I am also offering it for sale as a framed piece. The painting is floated in its frame so as not to lose any part of it beneath the rabbet of the frame. Once it is floated onto its backing, there is no turning back and it must be sold framed.  I usually frame in a dark frame, as it brings out the colours in the work and makes them sing.

Pigments used in the painting:

Imprimatura: Rublev Italian Burnt Sienna;

Drawing: Rublev Italian Burnt Sienna;

Pigments: W&N Cobalt and Ultramarine Deep Blues, Cadmiums Orange & Yellow Pale, Permanent Rose;

Rublev: Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre, Lead White #1;

Schmincke: Caput Mortuum;

M. Graham: Cobalt Teal;

Michael Harding: Stack Lead White.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Misty Midnight Ride

C1681
“Misty Midnight Ride”
(Bandon, Oregon)
Oil on Pannelli Telati Canvas  Panel
6” x 8”



Close up of the Painting.

Angled view showing the Red Oxide
on the edge of the floated panel
and lip of the frame.

This painting is being listed for sale through the Daily Paintworks site for one week only as if it remains unsold by the end of the auction, it will be going into a Gallery.  I am also offering it for sale as a framed piece. The painting is floated in its frame so as not to lose any part of it beneath the rabbet of the frame. Once it is floated onto its backing, there is no turning back and it must be sold framed.  I usually frame in a dark frame, as it brings out the colours in the work and makes them sing.

Pigments used in the painting:

Imprimatura: Rublev Italian Burnt Sienna;

Drawing: Rublev Italian Burnt Sienna;

Pigments: W&N Cobalt and Ultramarine Deep Blues, Cadmium Orange;

Rublev: Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre, Lead White #1;

Schmincke: Caput Mortuum;

Michael Harding: Stack Lead White.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Crap Winter.

Winter 2018 - 2019… and finally out into the Wilds at the end of March.


C1680
“Grazing through a Soft Rain
& Last of the Winter Snows Melting Away”
Oil Study on Centurion Oil Primed Panel
4” x 6”



This past Winter was so annoying as I was stuck hanging around civilization for five (COUNT 'EM!) … five months, waiting on things that were out of my control to happen.  After the first four months I was ready to head out by mid-February, but then every few days the weather reports were of heavy snowfalls in the Cascades and Eastern Oregon.  So what, I thought you were a Winter guy?  I hear you enquire.  There is a difference between already being out in the Wilds, before the snows come, and gauging whether you should retreat or stay put, and coming into an already snowy High Desert, without knowing the state of the roads or the dispersed campsites.  And then I came down with the first cold/flu since I don’t know when … certainly before 2010 … it was bugger, as they say in Jolly Old …!

End of the Day from the western rim
of Hole in the Ground.

Evening light … Ponderosa Pines.
Anyway I finally got out to the Hole in the Ground area at the end of March, camping at the actual rim of the Hole, for a couple of days, and a mile back down the road for a few more.  I believe I have talked about Hole in the Ground before, so to just refresh your memory, it is a crater in the ground about half a mile across.  It is a volcanic maar, which is formed when basaltic magma rising close to the surface comes into contact with groundwater resulting in a steam or gas explosion.  They are shallow circular craters, that usually fill with water, but not these maars out here in the Fort Rock Valley, where there are to be found upwards of forty of them, so I am informed.  These may have had water once, but no more, although a small, shallow waterhole is to be found in Hole in the Ground. Big Hole and Fort Rock are two others.

The road to Hole in the Ground was icy in spots and the smaller roads were snow covered and probably impassible in many spots, so it was probably good that I hadn’t come out earlier.  Many of these roads were also closed for deer regeneration, until March 31st as well.  My second camp was a bit rainy for several days, so I did the small work above while there.  Deer came grazing through every couple of days, so there was nothing for it but to dab them into the painting; look closely … there are seven of them.  The rains were soft and quiet, for the most part, only blustery for a couple of stretches, and after three or four days of this the icy patches on the roads were reduced to almost nothing.


Storm crossing Fort Rock.

Largest Western Juniper in Oregon …

… da Bark of da tree.

Wary on his stump.
I moved a few miles after this a few miles to past Cabin Lake (no lake … no more), and had views forty miles across the desert towards Winter Ridge, above Summer Lake, the Connley Hills (separating Christmas Valley and Silver Lake), and Hager Mountain, south beyond them, and subsequently thus beyond Silver Lake. Here I watched snow showers ripping across the desert for a couple of days, rarely getting hit myself, and then settled into another more secluded camp about a mile from that camp.  Here I remained for a goodly period, as some camper had constructed a solid picnic table out of split logs, and there was a convenient stump upon which to place my camp stove!  The Forest Service would not have built this table, especially in a dispersed campsite.  On a nearby tree was a memorial wreath … I am guessing those responsible for the wreath were also responsible for said table.

Nine years ago, at Easter-time, my alternator went out as I arrived at Derrick Cave, about 20 miles northeast of Fort Rock.  Lucky for me it was Easter Saturday, so there were a couple of cars there.  One of them gave me a jump and on the way back to Fort Rock, jump-started me three more times!  I had cell connection there and rang up AAA, and long story short, I was back out at Derrick Cave by the next afternoon with a new alternator.  This time was less eventful, and I had my headlamp and so made it down into the depths of the lava tube, that is the cave, to where there is ice; sometimes all Summer long.

The lava tube known as Derrick Cave.
Sand dunes on the way
to the Lost Forest.

I had toyed with the idea of making it out to the Lost Forest, another 30 miles east from there, back in 2010, but it was not until this trek that I made it.  Not so difficult to get there, but rocky rough roads once you’re in there. The Lost Forest is a Ponderosa Pine forest separated from any other Pondies by 40 miles, and endures the driest conditions of any Pondies in Oregon.  They are also genetically different from the normal Pondies and the young trees grow more rapidly than others, according to an inter-agency biologist I ran into while leaving the forest.  I had all 9000 acres to myself for two nights.

Last light on the Junipers.

Ponderosas in the Lost Forest.

Morning on the edge of the Lost Forest.

Sand dunes upon leaving the Lost Forest …
a different day.

Mt. Washington beyond Suttle Lake
... in the Cascades.

The painting at the beginning is the only one I did on the spot, as I needed to prepare several for a Marine Art Show.  I also needed to return on the 1st of May to civilization, but I am headed back out to the Wild tomorrow … Yaaaaaaaay!!!


Pigments used in the painting:

Imprimatura: Rublev Italian Burnt Sienna;

Drawing: Rublev Italian Burnt Sienna;

Pigments: W&N Cobalt and Ultramarine Deep Blues, Cadmiums Orange;

Rublev: Red Ochre, Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre, Italian Burnt Sienna, Lead White #1;

Gamblin: Titanium Buff;

Michael Harding: Stack Lead White.


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

And A Happy New Year to You All!!!

"December Snowfall over the Ponderosas & Sage"
(Oregon High Desert)
Oil Sketch
5" x 7"

This Oil Sketch is from December 2014, and was posted on this blog [& sold], in early 2015.  Just to say I will be getting back to publishing more regular posts in the next few weeks, once I get out into the snowy wastes of the Oregon High Desert, and get some more works done.  Several commissions are almost complete, and a lot of other 'catching-up' work has been done since arriving back in Oregon in June ... and now the nights are drawing out, and the darkest day of the Winter has come and gone, and the lighter days mean more painting time!  All the best to you all for the coming year!!!