Sunday, October 7, 2012

En Plein Aire...

We went up to the mountain to cut some more wood for the winter, which we are hoping will require a LOT of wood burning this winter (meaning a lot of snow and cold, plus a lot of cabin time.)

While there I took my 'en plein aire studio' (aka my husband's truck, where I open up the back and sit under the shell) down to the lake to paint. I did the 8x10 oil study above. It is really hard at this time of year to get the color right. Lest you think I mean that it is hard to not get it too bright, I will show you a few photos from the day. What I mean is that it is hard to get it bright enough to show the true gaudy brightness of the season! We really don't have very many fall colors here in Colorado: we have an INTENSE gold, plus the dark green of the evergreens and a bit of indian red from the ground scrub oaks. 

But when the sun is blasting down on you at 10,000+ feet of altitude, and the sky is intense Colorado blue (wish there was a paint color called that), the color's so bright, I gotta wear shades!

Most of the places, the aspen are bare already, but the cottonwoods have taken over in the valleys, so there is still a lot of gold in them thar hills.

I was sure Gus was telling me he wanted an adventure, so we took him along this time. (Turns out, we had the adventures, on our drives up and down the mountain. Gus is not a good traveler.) While at the cabin, the chipmunks and birds and one little squirrel were busy gathering the seeds we put out for them, and Booker and Gus were glued to the window, supervising them.

I always forget how much I enjoy painting en plein aire. I am never really happy with the result, but the experience makes that seem somewhat superfluous. In addition to the little oil sketch, I did a few watercolor sketches in my moleskin, which I am also enjoying using quite a bit lately. All in all, a lovely fall weekend!

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