Approaching Teec Nos Pos
9x12 - graphite on sketchpad
So, today was one of those days I felt inclined to sit down and draw. Drawing skills, aside from being an absolute necessary skill for painters, are something that I suspect many of us don't practice enough. I'm always in awe of the artists whose blogs I follow who regularly post drawings they do, either as the beautiful loose field sketches of Sherrie Y or more detailed renderings in colored pencil, such as William (Bill) Cook.
I'm in a slight lull as far as my sense of direction goes for painting. It's not really an artistic block, but more like being overwhelmed by the possibilities and all the things I want to accomplish. Yesterday, we took an afternoon trip to Haviland Lake, and I brought along my gear (noting to leave the heavy French easel at home), excited about getting out to paint. And, I painted, but it didn't go anywhere, and I felt my concentration sort of slip away as things just didn't come together. But, that was totally okay - it was good practice to try and paint the ever-changing reflections on the lake.
Ever since we got back from AZ, I've been itching to do a new roadrtrip series based on the photos I took. It seems that Hwy 160 is my artistic muse, always beckoning with that constantly changing landscape that draws me in every time. I see the same features, and structures, and even creatures, on each trip, yet they never get old.
So, I thought I'd at least dip a toe in that proverbial bathtub and do a drawing of what will be one of the first paintings in the series...whenever I decide to start them. It is of this long sweeping stretch of highway that is just east of that small Navajo community Teec Nos Pos, and a few miles west of the actual Four Corners monument.
The drawing thing was good. I like it because, unlike painting, I can draw right at my computer, and listen to my favorite songs on my YouTube playlist. After getting into "the zone", it's great. Drawing with pencil is a very disciplined thing - you can't be lazy and use color. It's all about value. Since this particular image doesn't have a great deal of value range, that made it a bit difficult. And, it took me longer to do this drawing, which isn't much to write home about, than it does to do a painting of the same size. It was exceedingly difficult to photograph as well.
But, it was just what I needed today.
On an unrelated note, I was delighted to find out that all 3 of the photos I entered in the county fair last week won ribbons! And, both of the paintings took blues and reserve champions, but there weren't many entries this year, so it wasn't quite as exciting as the photography wins.
Here are two of the three photos - both entered in the "Wild Animal" category in the Adult Intermediate division:
First Place and Reserve Champion in its category
Both shot with my entry level Nikon D40, Nikkor 55-200mm DX AF lens, and printed at Walmart's 1 hr. photo lab. Just in case anyone thinks it's all about having expensive DSLR's and high-end glass...it's not.