So, in the meantime, here is yesterday's painting done with the 4CPAP group right here in town:
|The Purple Cliffs - 16x12 inches|
pastel on acid-free construction paper
This is the view from the terminus of the Animas River Trail, although I ended up standing on a slope next to the trail to paint.
I got this 90% finished on location, but when the wind started kicking up around noon, blowing my hat off and forcing me to hold the easel while I painted, that's when I usually decide it's time to pack it in.
The two challenges were trying to make the very muddy Animas look not so...unappealing. The warm temperatures we've been having accelerate mountain snowmelt, and the river is at a seasonal high, and much siltier than normal. Also, I'm not sure the foreground cliff reads very well; it is in fact probably 20' above the river and not at the shoreline. Ditto the middle "island", which I decided to keep because it had neat things going on and helped to break up the otherwise solid mass of the river.
At any rate, I'll certainly be back to paint the purple cliffs again, and will at least have a better idea how to handle these issues. Painting the same location repeatedly is a common practice amongst landscape painters, both past and present, and this subject in particular makes me appreciate why.