Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Studies from the Ten Lakes Basin






I did my first 'real' backpacking trip this weekend with some coworkers and had a great time. We hiked over 6 miles out of Tuolomne Meadows, climbing over a 9,500 pass to get to a basin filled with small lakes near the south rim of the Grand Canyon of the Tuolomne. Not so much time to paint on a trip like this but I did get one afternoon and morning in. I had made a very portable pastel setup, which is visible in the photo, by cutting a lot of sticks in half in order to have the colors I needed. I stored my paper (and my finished pieces) in a cut down pad of tracing paper with about half the paper in the pad removed. I clip the Canson paper to a piece of foam core cut to the same size as the pad. Very similar to my large setup but it weighs a lot less. Worked fine. These are pretty quick and loose studies, about 7 x 9", which I may use to do some larger studio pieces. One interesting aspect of a 'study' is that you don't try and render, but more or less notate and hammer down values, shapes, and colors that collectively represent something. More or less what painting is all about anyways, but rather brutal... less finesse. Studio work gives one time to noodle and contemplate a bit. Not always the best thing either!

18 comments:

geraldo roberto da silva said...

Nice work!
Congratulations!

mirko said...

What pastels you use?

Alexander said...

really nice...really, really nice. more professional work. Good style, really good colors, good composition..... I like more your life drawings.... I would like to visit your exposition......but i life in barcelona...Z_Z..shit.....XD

wz said...

Love the work, the speed and bare bones quality of the art.

What color do you favor in Canson paper?

Bill Cone said...

Geraldo: Thanks for the comments.

Mirko: I use a combination of Terry Ludwig, with some Unison & Sennelier thrown in.

Alexander: The life drawings are more expressive
almost by default. There's a real time constraint with the changing light. Desperate mark making!
Studio and outdoors each have their value.

WZ: I mainly use 2 color of Canson: Twilight and Tobacco, depending the overall key of what I'm looking at. Twilight is a grey violet medium value which works well for shadows and atmosphere. Tobacco is medium dark value warm brown which works for some water shots where the bottom is prevalent.

Benjamin Plouffe said...

nice post thanks for sharing.

dwilson said...

Bill, your work never ceases to inspire me. You find in what could have been a dull setting rich color and beautiful forms.

Beautiful edges for such simple sketches. Thanks for the post.

Marcos Mateu said...

Great work, such a nice sense of light.

sponie said...

Great stuff as always. I'm planning a Sierrra trip in a few weeks and I will be bringing my sketchbook. Thanks for the inspiration.

Adam Temple said...

I love your work, amazing pieces.

PastelGuy said...

What strikes me about your work is its efficiency. No wasted strokes, and your colors and values are spot-on. Congrats on your show, too.

Belinda Del Pesco said...

Your work has such evidence of the wise old advice: Practice Makes Perfect. There is evidence of millions of marks - prior to every single perfect mark in your work.

Nevena Nikolacheva NEN said...

mega cool !

Ken Januski said...

Accidentally stumbled upon your site from Tim Wooton's site and found my old nemesis of 35 years ago: Ten Lakes!

Two friends and I had been backpacking and ended up at one of the lakes at end of day. We went out in water for awhile to cool off and then came back to camp. On my last step out of the water I stepped on a broken pop bottle and dug a deep cut in my heel. Fortunately one of my friends was a nurse and she bandaged me up and I managed to backpack back down the next day.

In any case this was a real surprise. I came for the art, which I've much enjoyed, but ended up with Yosemite memories!

wz said...

As always, your paintings leave us who follow you up in Canada so deeply happy.

Question:--In the recent Pastel Journal article, noticed that you had an umbrella on a tripod. What's the clamp attaching it to the tripod? I've jerryrigged something but it' not working out very well.

Much thanks, Zella

Bill Cone said...

Thanks all for your comments. Sorry to be late in responding. Belinda commented about the 'millions of marks..." that are made prior to what is put down in a painting. I've been working in this medium for almost 15 years, and have worked professionally as an illustrator and designer for 25 years, so the mileage is there. HOWEVER, I am still learning, and still do plenty of work that I am not happy with (which I tear up... sometimes gleefully) We are continaully evolving, and it is often a struggle. That is the nature of the work of an artist.

Ken: Thanks for sharing your Yosemite experience at the Ten Lakes Basin. Granite can be sharp!

WZ: Regarding the tripod attachment for the umbrella, I believe It cam from open box M,
the manufacturers of pochade boxes for painters.
The tripod is a Bogen, and I purchased it from them with a quick release head mounted on it. as an accompanying accessory I purchased this other mount/clamp, that I screw down onto the quick release head. It is definitely not the way it was meant to be used. but it generally works for me.
I lose several umbrellas every year, but it is not due to the mount. It is the wind that blows them over when I least expect it. I have recently started using carabiners to attach the tripod in some way to either my body, or something of enough weight to withstand a gust of wind.

wz said...

Thanks for answering my question about the umbrella attachment. I appreciate you taking the time, especially with your upcoming shows.

For weighting umbrellas against the wind, a friend suggested using those folding camp water jugs, but this will work only when water is really close by.

Bill Cone said...

I used some convenient granite boulders as ballast the last few days, as there were thousands of them lying around. I just got back from a trip into the Sierra, and will be posting some new work soon.