Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fall colors & blog anniversary

I realized today that yesterday was actually the one-year anniversary of my art blog.   It's hard to believe a year has gone by since I began the more formal process of documenting my artistic endeavors and process via this blog.  I've mentioned it before, but my inspiration for joining the blogosphere was all the art blogs I was reading that were inspiring *me*.   I found that the blog helped discipline me to create things regularly,   and while maybe there were few, if any, readers, I wrote as if there were people who were interested in my thoughts and artwork.  

And thank you to those who have been regular readers, or occasionally stop by for a look, and to those who take the time to comment; it sort of helps validate the effort put into the posts.  I used to not leave comments on other blogger's sites, but then realized that I wanted people to know that I was reading and enjoying their artwork and blog.   I guess it falls under the "do unto others" theme.

Anyway, yesterday I set to work on my quota of 2-3 paintings, but got stalled out on the first one because of extra details it needs (it's a windmill).  I'm still not confident enough with the alla prima handling of paint, especially on these small sized canvases, that I can just do precise applications of paint wet on wet and get it not goofy.  So, I'll probably add the last bit to that one later after the sky is dry, and continue on.

In the meantime, here are two fall color paintings I did with the extra paint on the palette after I'd done the Four Corners paintings for the day.   And a couple of photos from the short hike we went on along Hermosa Creek out by the Purgatory ski area yesterday afternoon.

aspen leaf portrait
7x5 inches
oil on gessoed card

Based on a photo I took on our Purgatory Flats hike last week, this was done from a graphite drawing on  the card.  I learned a lot from doing this still life painting.  I happen to really like vignetted paintings, so I went with that here.  Unfortunately, I thought about it a little late, so it's not as spontaneous as I'd have liked.  

Aspen hillside
5x7 inches
oil on gessoed card

Another based on the Purgatory Flats hike from last week.  This was a good exercise in just seeing things as abstracted blocks of color and value - something I'm definitely getting much better at.  If this were a bigger size, I probably would have added a it more detail, and finished the scattered pines on the two higher hills.  Still trying to figure out the best way to get fine lines for the well as sign the painting - clearly, a brush isn't working so well for that.  

Hermosa creek
The view to the right from the double-track trail, about a mile from the trailhead.  This creek is used by fly fishermen, and we spoke with three who were fishing it that day.  Rainbows, native cutthroats and brown trout inhabit these waters.

Colors of fall 
The view to the left of the trail, up the slope.  Aspen tower over the firs scattered within their stands.

Hermosa Peak afternoon
Better light on the way back shows the aspen-covered hillsides and meadow through which the creek runs, with Hermosa Pk. is in the distance.

Meandering creek 
On the dirt road back to Hwy 550, Hermosa Cr. is a series of oxbow meanders through the meadow.  According to an interpretive sign nearby, the area had extensive restoration work after years of cattle grazing took their inevitable toll on the ecosystem of the creek.  Thankfully, the area is now closed to grazing.  A brilliant stand of aspen breaks up the evergreen forest in the distance.


  1. lovely photos and the painting is delightful... it is beautifully rendered!

  2. Hi Rahina,

    Thank you for stopping by and for your comments - they are appreciated! I'm glad you like the photos; it is beautiful here in the fall and I'm glad to share that with others.

  3. Oh, how I love that aspen photo in particular! The yellow fall aspens thrilled me when I first moved to CO and saw them, and they still do.
    I started my blog for the same reasons. And so glad you started yours, or I'd never have known you!
    Am partially bedridden recovering from the India malaise, but here I am slowly picking up visiting people's blogs again, which I've missed very much.

  4. Hi Jala,

    I totally agree about the thrill of the aspens in fall color - they are incredible! When combined with the rest of the CO landscape, they make for an unbeatable view of fall.

    Thanks much for your support as one of the regular readers here. I really appreciate it, and had I never left a comment on your blog, we'd have never met :).

    I do hope your travel woes disappear soon. Getting sick is probably my biggest fear of traveling out of the country, since it's happened to me as well (viva la Mexico!).


Your thoughtful comments add value to this blog - thank you so much for taking the time to leave them!

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