landscapes


Back to morning weather sketches from home, Polt Mountain in New Jersey.  Depending on whether I was in the front yard or the backyard, the sky colors were totally different.

7 am, looking northwest, Polt Mountain, NJ

7:15 am looking southeast, Polt Mountain, NJ

The sun had risen a bit, adding more yellow light to the sky.  But still, the sky was more pink, gray and purplish looking north.

Sky lightening to the northwest

Morning weather sketches: A mix of watercolor and gouache on various watercolor papers.

Last day of a road trip vacati0n…. Tom is already asleep …. I was ten stories up reflecting on the last seven days on the road.

Gouache Travel Kit

I love those precious moments when I realize, and accept, that progress has been made.
I brought along gouache, but didn’t squeeze it out into the pans until last night, listening to the sound of the ocean waves breaking against the beach.  I brushed a bit of color onto the ink drawing I did of the kitchen in the motel room in the Outer Banks, NC.

Detail of ink drawing, Outer Banks Motor Lodge kitchen

This morning I awoke early to an amazing predawn light upon the ocean…

6:45 am, Ocean City, Maryland

This is my first weather journal painting in gouache.  My second was of three figures on the beach, out early to watch the sun rise. I wish they knew that their special moment was captured in my sketchbook….. but I don’t know them and they will never know….

One figure snapping a photo of the other two figures against the sunrise in Ocean City, Maryland …. gouache.

Color has taken on a new place in my vision….. I’m not sure where that place is.  In a week I leave on another journey… back to the Chesapeake Bay area to paint for six days…… Hmmmm.  Do I bring watercolors and gouache?  Oil paints? Acrylics?

I am finally mixing my pigments intuitively.  I need to stay healthy for another thirty years, at least….. the joy of color is just beginning!

As we drove East on Route 64 toward the Atlantic Ocean, we were blinded by the rising sun.

7:30 am Route 64 North Carolina, October 11, 2012

The reflection of light off the white paper of the sketchbook made it impossible to see the color as I brushed it onto the paper.  The experience was the opposite extreme of painting musicians in the darkness of pubs at the Blues Jams.

sketchbook drawing: watercolor painted en plein air, en route.  Watercolor brush and limited palette of watercolor in Altoid Tin.

A waterbrush and fountain pen make sketching and drawing while traveling a breeze.  As Tom drives, I sit in the passenger seat recording the weather.

7 pm on Route 75, October 7, 2012

Whenever we stop to eat, sleep or take a hike, I capture the moment in quick sketches, carrying pen, brush and paints in my pockets.

Popcorn Overlook, Chattahoochee National Forest, Rt. 76, Georgia

Cabins at Carolina Landing, Fair Play, South Carolina

I would have liked to stay a bit longer at Twin Falls.

Twin Falls, Reedy Cove Creek, South Carolina

I’m using a very limited palette.

Twin Falls, Ink and Watercolor Sketch

In my Altoid Tin I have pans of watercolor that I have squeezed from tubes: Aureolin yellow, gamboge yellow, cadmium red light, scarlet, magenta, french ultramarine blue, cerulean blue, phthalo blue and viridian.  I haven’t had the need for anything else … so far.

Sketchbook drawings:  All but the top drawing were sketched first in ink with a fountain pen, followed by watercolor.

Three days on the road and nothing but gray skies….

7 am Route 79 in West Virginia

A bit later on Route 79

The sun broke through only twice so far ……

10:30 am on Route 64, West Virginia

Once on Route 64 in West Virginia and once ….

Keeneland Race Track, Lexington, Kentucky

at the Keeneland Race Track in Lexington, Kentucky.  We arrived early enough for me to do a quick ink and watercolor drawing before the races began.

My waterbrush and limited palette of the Altoid tin filled with five pans of watercolor pigments is working great for in-the-car-as-we’re-driving sketches as well as the carry-it-all-in-my-pockets touristy stops.

I’m getting a great deal of practice mixing an assortment of grays!

Sketchbook drawings:

Weather sketches ….. watercolor

Keeneland Race Track – drawn first with fountain pen followed by watercolor.

Impressions of fleeting moments …. painting the weather journal sketches is beginning to feel more intuitive, like the quick ink and watercolor sketches of the musicians playing together in a darkened pub.

7 am on October 1, 2012

The change from overcast mornings, noons and nights provided an opportunity to move back toward saturated hues, away from neutrals approaching gray or brown.  Even in the low light of dawn and dusk, color begins to appear in the landscape, reflecting back the light waves from the illumination of the sun and the sky.

6:50 pm, October 1, 2012

Daily Weather Journal Watercolor Sketches …. Dawn painted in my backyard … Dusk painted in my front yard.  Hmmm.  I wonder why backyard is one word and front yard is two.

As much as I love my fountain pens, I am enjoying this new direction of journaling the light and weather throughout the day.  It allows me the freedom to let colors mix and merge across the paper, producing somewhat unpredictable and often lovely results.

3:45 pm on September 28, 2012

It’s no surprise that watercolor paper is working better for me than the BFK Rives printmaking paper working wet into wet.

I am perceiving the nuances of color changes as clouds cross the sky, filtering and altering the sun’s rays, more each day.  I wonder if this is the result of the color studies I’ve been doing, having opened a door to another level of vision.  I like this new world that has opened up to me.  Landscapes have transformed into a theatrical stage with the sun and the sky acting as the Lighting Engineers.  I’m learning their trade so that I can manipulate the illusions I create on canvas and paper.

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