After a late lunch, we both are excited to start painting. We decide to go back to Our Quiet Place to paint out of the wind and the sun. I start my first study which is a small pastel of the aspens that are on the perimeter. There is a greenish glow reflecting on the trunks from the light filtering through the leaves. It’s magical.
I work for almost 2 hours and struggle to capture my vision. I’m not satisfied with the painting. I feel that there aren’t enough value contrasts between the shadows and the sunlight but that is what my eye is seeing. Perhaps I need to have more contrast between warm and cool color temperatures. I will have to think about it and I can try again tomorrow. It’s so great that we are here for days yet—we can come back at any point and revisit the scene. That is a luxury that is rare for almost all of my typical plein air sessions.
Gini has been working on a black and white drawing of the tree grouping in Our Quiet Place. After working on her sketch, she makes a good start on blocking in her painting. She stops working at this point since the day is moving on and the light is changing. I continue working on my painting for awhile longer.
Gini has been industrious while I finished painting. She has collected wood and built a fire ring down on the beach. She has also started preparations for dinner. I join in and we bring metal folding chairs down to the beach. We crack open our first beer that we have been keeping cold in the river—so refreshing! We are now feeling that it was definitely worth the effort of carrying them in. We put out some appetizers and light the fire.
Once the coals are red hot, we put Gini’s marinated chicken on. I boil corn on the cob on the propane stove up at the cabin and we have a delicious dinner on the beach listening to the soothing sounds of the river.
The colors reflecting off the river are amazing as the light changes. Opposite our spot on the river is a high slope of scree and in the evening for just a few minutes, the light bounces off the slope and reflects on the surface of the water. It’s stunning and I’m inspired by the light and colors.
The sun falls behind the ridge and we talk until the stars start to twinkle. A great day—more relaxed and we’re definitely getting into the groove of camping.
I decide to record the animals we see each day and the wildflowers. I have a little book of wildflowers with me and most, but not all, of the wildflowers we see around us are in the book. Generally, we see the same animals and wildflowers on a daily basis but every now and again, we have a surprise visitor—stay tuned!
Animals we saw today:
Some bright yellow bird—a cardinal perhaps?
Indian Paint Brush