This week is bringing ramped-up heat. Had a thunderstorm Sunday night, so the humidity is off the hook! So I'm finding shady spots to paint from. This piece took 3 evenings, as the light faded fast and the shadows got too long.
Day 8 was my day to give my public presentation. I didn't want to go the day without getting a painting in, so I decided to look out my bedroom window again and paint the hazy view first thing in the morning. This time, I've given you several views of the painting in progress. The presentation went well - met a couple of cool women from Lincoln, whom I'll visit on my way out of state, later in the week. We're going on either an art or nature field trip - maybe both!
I've been getting out early each morning, while the shadows are still long, and doing what I call silhouette drawings. The prairie grasses and wildflowers are gorgeous and I can see some of the silhouettes making it into my finished work back in the studio. The sun is strong out here and I searched out SPF 100 today! Found some - it was even SPF 110. I'm heading out early, trying to stay out of the sun in mid-day and heading out again late afternoon to paint in color.
The following painting is giving me a little grief in that, since it's a late afternoon scene, the sun starts to change the light too much for me to finish. It's 2 days painting for about 1 1/2 hours so far and I'm not feeling it's resolved.
Then there's the little painting I did looking west toward the woods. I'm understanding the structure of the land better and dusting off the color theory that Professor Billie Theide so lovingly taught me at University of Illinois all those years ago. http://art.illinois.edu/people/theide/
Tonight as I'm writing this, we heard 3 barred owls just outside the house - saw one up a tree with the flashlight! I'd never heard one of them before. The payoffs of being in the middle of the country! And don't even get me started on the stars!
Today I got out the door early with sketching stuff so I could record shadows from the plants. Early morning and late afternoon are best for this because of the height of the sun and the way it casts shadows from the plants. Since I only had monochromatic watercolor mixed and had left my multicolored travel set back at the house, I decided to make a little monochrome watercolor study of the tree line south of the National Monument fields.
Took the Homestead Trail with the bike again today - this time I went a little farther. I could see the water tower for the next town north, but realized I forgot my $$ for a snack, so I decided to turn back to Beatrice. About a mile from the end of the trail, back in town, but in a wooded/grassy area, I came across 2 wild turkey hens with about 10- 12 young ones out for a walk.
Had a lovely dinner at The Black Crow restaurant here in town - the bread pudding was worth going on a 14-mile bike ride every day! http://www.blackcrowrestaurant.com/
Headed out again for a little hike tonight and started another watercolor.
I had to start off the post with the view toward the visitor center last night. The clouds came rolling in and they were gorgeous, but foretold the lightning and thunderstorms that followed.
So today I packed up some sketching and watercolor supplies and headed to the canopy outside the visitor's center. First, I sketched a few plant silhouettes, collecting them for a future project, then I settled in for a couple hours of watercolor studies. The clouds here are spectacular! The blue skies, too!
The quiet is something else altogether. When I'm hiking or drawing in one place for a while, the animals start to forget I'm there and come around. I scared up a doe at one point today, and she snorted at me for quite awhile, as she headed into the woods.
Yesterday was the 2nd day of my drive from Michigan to Nebraska. I drove west of Des Moines, IA, which is farther west on I-80 than I'd ever been. I was rewarded with vast vistas of agricultural fields - mostly corn - and a sky full of gorgeous, fluffy clouds!