No, you didn’t miss a blog post, I’m posting day 3, before day 2, because I’m back in my studio tonight and I forget to bring the day 2 painting back with me from the cabin.
I don’t have an Internet connection (I’m told they shut their Internet connection at the cabin down in the winter. May is winter?) or even cell phone service anywhere in the Wawona area of Yosemite National Park, where the Yosemite Renaissance artist in residence cabin has been provided for me. Thank you AT&T! What are you thinking? No one with one of your cell phones visits Yosemite? I’m going back up to the cabin tomorrow afternoon, after I finish teaching art to my two 5th grade classes at Woodland Elementary School tomorrow, so you won’t see another blog post, until I’m back in the studio, late Sunday.
Here’s today’s in progress plein air painting. It was my second day painting with artist friend, Sandy Kowallis. This time we hiked down the trail that runs from the top of the falls, along the river, to where it joins the south fork of the Merced River. We picked a section we liked and set up there. The water is so ice cold that any slight breeze sends air-conditioned air in our direction. It made for a very comfortable day, at a temp much lower than what we found, as soon as we left the river’s edge.
Tomorrow I’m painting with friend, photographer and artist, Kerby Smith. Something other than the Chilnualna, I suspect.
I’ve been awarded artist in residence by Yosemite Renaissance, which comes with a 2 bedroom cabin at Wawona, in Yosemite National Park, for a week.
I’ve invited many artist friends, in the area, to come up and join me, so we can go out together and paint plein air. Some are staying with me overnight in the cabin for a day or two, others coming up for the day. 7 days of painting with friends in Yosemite.
I’ve decided to use the week to see if I can make selections and simplify enough to finish the paintings on location, in one sitting. True plein air. It’s tough for me, because I generally like to add a little more finish to my paintings. I haven’t been able to resist taking all the plein air paintings, I’ve produced so far, back to the studio for more polish, but it’s hard to justify all the extra work put into paintings so small. Better to find a personal shorthand I can apply to my plein air paintings.
Today was the first day of the residency and I was joined by Carolyn and Sandee, two artist with a lot of experience painting plein air. We chose to paint a location close to the cabin, Chilnualna Falls. With all the rain and snow we had this winter, combined with the current warmer temperatures, our waterways are breaking records. This normally trickling stream’s been converted into a torrent of quickly moving, twisting, splashing gallons of water.
All good, but I didn’t reach my goal today. This painting still needs more work, before it’s finished, even by plein air standards. I think, with the waterfall, I took on too much for the time allotted. Wish me better luck tomorrow.