Friday, August 31, 2012

Back from Estes Park

Sprague Lake - Cloudy Morning 14x11
It was time to head out for The Western Light III show, sponsored by Earthwood Gallery and although we sent all of the work to be juried into the show ahead of time, we planned on painting for a week at Rocky Mountain National Park.  We consisted of Coni Grant, David Montgomery and Peggy Immel who was painting for another event, The Plein Air Rockies event.

We usually go to Sprague Lake first thing on Monday Morning and this year was no exception although the weather wasn't cooperating as we had hoped. After we arrived to a VERY smoky scene and realizing that the smoke ( most likely from Washington and Utah fires) and clouds might be there to stay, got busy painting. Eldon Warren came up that morning as well - it was nice to see him. After finishing this painting I decided to do a painting of something not so distant so that the smoke would not be as evident.

Beaver Ponds on a Cloudy Day 9x12
So I painted some Beaver ponds close to the Sprague Lake parking lot by Peggy. The sky was so light that there was basically no color- just a very light grey. This was a difficult scene to paint- there so much going on in the scene that I had to eliminate a lot of the willows in the pond just to make it read.  Some I had to eliminate after painting them in - which is evidence of the old adage,  if your painting isn't working, see what elements you can eliminate, instead of adding. Usually it works much better for the overall composition. I was hoping the next day would be a little sunnier.....


Chunbum Park said...

These paintings don't depict much smoke or clouds at all. They appear as if it were a nice sunny day with blue sky.

Susan McCullough said...

Hello Chubaum- actually the blue in the top painting that you are referring to is a mountain.. It is hard to make it out against the grey sky because the values are very close in the painting.