Monday, October 6, 2014

Autumn Trip

Yesterday I took the whole day and drove a long, semi-planned loop to go see what the fall colors where looking like at the higher elevations plus I managed to work in a plein air painting.  I started by going up Parley's canyon up to Wasatch County then a couple back roads to Summit County and the small town of Peoa.  After spending some time exploring Peoa I headed East to Oakley and did some exploring there.  Even at the 6500 ft elevation of Oakley the colors are far from peak so I headed up the Mirror Lake highway into the High Uintas and ate my lunch by the Upper Provo River.  Then I drove over the Soapstone Pass into the Soapstone basin where I did this 10" x 8" acrylic painting;

I was set up at cross roads of sorts, (The Soapstone Pass is a dirt road.) so I had a lot of traffic from the hunters driving their ATVs around and other people like me out enjoying the fresh mountain air and fall colors.  While the noise and dust were annoying at times I did enjoy meeting a few people that were interested enough in what I was doing to stop and take a look, in particular I met fellow artist Sue and her husband Rex from Tabiona, I now have a standing invitation to go paint with her on her property by the Duschene river. If anything at this elevation the colors where a bit past peak so I headed on over the other side of the pass to highway 35 also known as Wolf Creek Pass and dropped down to the town of Francis.  After some exploring in Francis I dropped further down to the town of Midway in the heart of the Heber Valley. I decided I didn't want to take the freeway back home so I drove up a little known road to Guardsman's Pass at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch Mountains.  I said little known but there were enough people that knew about it that the traffic was kinda nutty for a remote mountain pass, (very slow, curvy and steep, 15-20 mph), I guess everybody else had the same idea.  There was a section of the road lined with photographers!  Once in Big Cottonwood Canyon I went up to Brighton and went for a walk around Silver Lake, again everybody else had the same idea!  The pathway was quite crowded but it was worth it, the color was great even if a bit past peak.  From there it was just a drive down the canyon and short bit on the freeway to home.  It was a long, tiring day but a lot of fun.  Here are a couple photos from my travels.
The road in Soapstone Basin
The river bluffs viewed from Fancis
Silver Lake by Brighton, Utah

Monday, September 15, 2014

Junked Johnny

Another tractor pen drawing, this time a John Deere Model A. I spotted this tractor in a small rural town last year and took plenty of photos, I knew some day I'd draw or paint it.

"Junked Johnny"

Pen on paper, 8" X 10"
This drawing was done entirely with a .03 pen using hatching, cross-hatching, contour and outline techniques.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Autumn Chevy

The summer season is practically over and the autumn season is starting.  The colors are already starting to change at the higher elevations so to get ready I painted an autumn landscape, this time with an old pickup in it.


"Autumn Chevy"

Acrylic, 5" X 7"
The painting is based on a reference photo and my imagination.  The truck comes from a photo I took of a pickup sitting in the gravel and weeds next to a residential driveway.  The landscape is totally out of my imagination including the color scheme.  The truck in the photo was actually painted orange.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Something New......kind of

You've seen me do a lot of pen work on this blog but all of it was quick sketches.  I decided to try taking it a step further and make a drawing.  Actually, I've made pen drawing attempts before but never finished them because I didn't think they were working out or I just lost interest.  I finally finished one;


"Derelict Doodlebug"

pen on paper, 8" X 10"
The subject is a "doodlebug". A doodlebug is a home built tractor made from an old car or pickup. In this case the victim was a 1928 Chevy car, at least the front half was. The frame was cut off behind where the passenger would normally sit and a Model TT Ford truck axle was bolted directly to what was left of the frame, no rear suspension just like a regular farm tractor. As you can see the stock seat has been replaced by a tractor seat. Such conversions were popular during the 1930's for small farms when the great depression robbed many farmers of the income necessary to buy a real tractor, or for larger farms that already had a good tractor a doodlebug was an inexpensive second tractor for hauling stuff around on the farm.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Sketchy Morning

I spent yesterday morning sketching and the weather was sketchy.  Luckily the wind and rain showers held off long enough for me to get two watercolor sketches done at Barton's Pond in Kaysville, Utah.  Barton's Pond is part of a group of ponds originally created or expanded by farmers that settled the area.  Now Utah State University taken over their care and installed gardens nearby.

I decided to work with just watercolor this time around rather than do my usually pen work first.

I thought this tree at the edge of the pond had an interesting look.  I added some detail with watercolor pencil at the end.
This one was an experiment working more wet into wet.  The scene doesn't actually exist as I sketched it.  I basically combined to views on the pond into one.  The trees were actually at least 100 yards away from the building and the building was actually a little farther off the pond.  I thought the two scenes combined into one would make for an interesting balance of disparate elements in the same composition.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

American Bantam

Back to the cars again.   This is another sketch for exploring ideas for a painting.  The subject is an American Bantam sedan.  American Bantams were cars built on license from Austin, an automotive manufacturer in England in the 1930's. Even though the cars were very inexpensive, even cheaper than the Model T Ford was more than 10 years earlier they did not sell well and so today are very rare, so I was very excited when I saw this car at a car show a couple years ago.  I chose to put the car in a rural setting in autumn.


"American Bantam Sedan"

Graphite on paper, 8" X 10"

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Back to the Landscape Again

It's been way too long since I painted outdoors, I rectified that situation today and spent the afternoon painting by the pond in Liberty Park in Salt Lake City, Utah. The weather was about as perfect as it gets, plenty of sun, only a slight breeze and temperatures in the mid 70's.  I hardly had to mist my acrylics to keep them workable. There was only one catch, I accidently packed Cobalt blue instead of Ultramarine blue.  It all still worked out fine but as you can see Cobalt blue definitely gave my greens a different look.



Acrylic, 8" x 6"

"A Perfect Day in the Park"

Acrylic 10" X 8"
I hardly had to move to get both of these views, in fact there were several others from this spot that would make good paintings so I'll definitely return.  I'm sure the fall colors here will be spectacular!