After picking huckleberries, Gini says she wants to go back to Our Quiet Place at the same time we were there yesterday so that she can continue working on the painting she started of the group of trees.

I agree because I’d like to tackle my aspen trees again with a fervent hope that I will do better at capturing my vision this time.

I get set up and think that we should experiment with the time-lapse mode on the iPhone. I set up the tripod, as John showed me, and place it by Gini to record her at work. I go over a couple of times to turn the time lapse off and after an interval, to turn it back on. It’s so much fun to watch the playback. Tomorrow I will try it on myself.

I check my notes from my previous day’s painting and decide I will eliminate the blue hue and use greens, purples, grays, browns, and peaches. I do use a little blue in the sky.

I analyze the painting from yesterday to determine what was working and what wasn’t. I use darker values then what I’m actually seeing but that’s what it needs for definition and dimension. Where the tree trunks and branches are light, I make sure to put a darker value next to it, and where they are dark, I put light in the background. I graduate the blue sky, from darker at the top to lighter at the bottom, even though I’ve shown a minimum of it.

Francesca’s aspen trees—on the left is the scene I was painting and on the right is my pastel painting. As you can see, I have simplified the branches to just the most prominent ones. Some of the orange background wash shows through the green, tempering it and adding some sparkle.

I’m much happier with today’s study. It has worked for me before to do a scene more than once so I can learn where the problems are, refine my color harmony, and adjust my values.

By now it’s 4:00 and we haven’t had lunch. We are hungry—all this outdoor activity sure gives a person an appetite—as if I needed an excuse to eat! We head back to the cabin to prepare dinner.

Our Quiet Place is a very short walk from the cabin. This view shows the path returning to the cabin.

We had planned for an early dinner but realize our frozen lasagna has not defrosted as quickly as we had thought it would. Gini quickly builds a fire and we set the lasagna on a rock of the ring to thaw while we create a bed of coals. It takes awhile but we manage to get the lasagna cooked and add steamed broccoli and a salad to our plates.

Shadow play with the fire pit and our lasagna sitting on the rock to defrost.

By the time we are finished eating it is too late to start the painting I’d hoped to do of the river with the golden glow of the setting sun. There is always tomorrow… Instead I paint a quick watercolor sketch in my journal.

On the left is the brightness of the scene during full sun. The same view on the right but with the setting sun washing warm colors over the surface of the river.

Francesca’s journal sketch of the river glow from the previous photo.

We decide to head back up to the cabin for the evening and we both work at the picnic table inside. So here I am writing in my journal and sipping red wine—it just doesn’t get any better than this!

Night falls and we work in the cabin. You can see a peek-a-boo of Gini at the table through the doorway.

Animals we saw today:
Golden Eagle
Resident Chipmunk
Moose tracks

Harebell (Bellflower)
Aspen Daisy
Nodding Onion
Sulphur Flower
Indian Paint Brush