Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sketches from a train...

I am just back from a trip to visit my parents in northern California. When I go to see them, I generally take the train. I do not enjoy flying, and, because we are somewhat off the beaten track, it takes much more effort, often as much or more expense, and often even more time to fly from here to there. I spend a bit less than 24 hours on the train, both going and coming.

There is not much to do on a train, except relax and watch the country go past my window.

I spend the night, and wake up to a new day in a different part of the country.

Between western Colorado and northern California, I pass through some beautiful scenery.

On this trip, I took a very small set of watercolors, and a small sketchbook (4"x5") of watercolor paper.

The sketches I did on the train all look pretty much alike.

I did not spend a great deal of time or effort on any of them. They were done for my pleasure. I did no pre-drawing; no drawing at all, actually (except on the snail, where I added some line work after the sketch was dry.)

I just let the wet colors run together, capturing the early fall colors as they passed by my window.

I read a bit, ate good Amtrak meals, and visited a bit with fellow passengers, many of whom were traveling from California to New York on the train, simply to see the country and relax a bit.

But my favorite part of the train ride this time was painting these tiny little sketches.

I also took some photos, though not many. This cloud-scape is my favorite.

Today I went and picked up artwork for myself and an artist friend at the largest annual Colorado Art exhibit, in Glenwood Springs. My friend was awarded the first place for portraits, and I got the first place award for still-life for my oil painting, "The House Call." The painting also sold, which was another pleasant surprise.

Back to work in the studio tomorrow.... sadly, the weaving elves did not get anything done on my tapestry while I was away!


Mary said...

Congratulations on the prize, and the sale! I really envy you the ability to paint. I just don't do it, or draw. I have even bought myself an iPad but haven't downloaded the Brushes app that you have referred to in other posts, and about which I saw a very interesting article in the newspaper recently. I MUST learn to put in the time and effort. Your paintings are lovely and also a really good souvenir of the trip. I actually think they are better than photos. However, your cloud study is also lovely. Have you made it black and white or is that the view you had?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on first prize and the sale of your painting. I love that painting and can see why it won. The little watercolors from your trip are great. Sometimes spontaneous paintings are better than the more thought out ones. Also love the sky scene. It's interesting how the clouds are illuminated against the dark landscape. Megan

K Spoering said...

Thanks, Megan and Mary.
The photo wasn't that starkly black and white; the sky had some blue, though the land and trees were pretty much just black. Making it a black and white made the grey clouds stand out more, and they are what I really like about the photo - and the black silhouette of the trees.

trish at tangled threads said...

too bad about the weaving elves, though. Trish

K Spoering said...

No kidding, Trish! I was really hoping they'd have been busy for me while I was away!

Sue said...

I love the watercolors and envy your ability to do those things. Congratulations on the first prize and the sale. 'Housecalls' brought back memories for me of my childhood when our doctor actually came to see me when I was sick and giving my Mom a little white box with pills in it to make me better. Now, back to disciplining those weaving elves. Wonder what they did all the time you were gone.