Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Colorado, Days1 and 2

"Autumn Gold"
15" x 20" Mixed Media

We arrived at the ranch on Sunday afternoon, enjoyed a chance to meet fellow participants at dinner and an evening introduction. The following morning we began days filled with painting outdoors, delicious meals, and evening sessions in the workshop building. There was little time wasted. Steven began with an introduction to his approach to painting plein air. To familiarize us folks from California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Connecticut, and other states with the landscapes of Colorado, he had us practice creating the tree shapes in the mountains. These were 30 minute sketches at most.

Sketch 1
11" x 8" watercolor

Sketch 2
11" x 8" watercolor
After lunch we queued up behind Steven's very able assistant, daughter Allie, and headed out on the dirt road higher into the mountains. There Steven demoed and then we all tried our hand at creating our first piece. Here is my first plein air piece of the workshop on Monday afternoon.

"Mountain Color"
14" x 18" watercolor
After critique, Steve showed us how he sometimes primes the paper with an acrylic underpainting, this time in Cadmium Yellow. The acrylic will not lift when we paint watercolor over it, and we can easily lift back to the yellow if we want.

Steven Quiller demos painting watercolor over acrylic on Day 2
We then tried our hand at it, and I did the painting at the top of this post. I fought that thing all the way as I selected a more complex scene. The yellow you see is the underpainting. In some cases I lifted back to it. To put in the blue sky, I used gouache and cerulean blue at Steve's suggestion. Here is the scene. As you can see, I was not wedded to every element in the scene.

Mary's view

On Tuesday evenings, the ranch throws a cocktail party for guests, so we all gathered round the fire pit outside the bar and had a great chat. Steve's wife Marta joined us. We were also treated to surry rides by Damon, a cowboy who has worked the ranch for 18 years and is raising his daughters on the ranch.

Riding in the surry with the fringe on the top.
(That tune went through my head during the ride.)


Candy said...

Oh, Mary, what a great experience! I think it's an interesting idea to do the underpainting in acrylic. You were very successful. I love your painting and I also like your sketches - especially the first one.

How fun to take a ride and the cocktail party sounds like fun, too.

Chris Lally said...

Sounds like a fabulous workshop, Mary! How great you're sharing these wonderful memories with us. What a treat!!

Barbra Joan said...

Hi Mary, so good to see you again. Been a while , I never know where you are anymore. But so glad your enjoying everything you do...
Your adventure there in the west sounds great and such an accomplished instructor. I see you did very well with you paintings..
Take care Mary,
Barbra Joan.

Regine Karpel said...