Cariboo Recollections
February 05,2008
Winter fading

I'm happy to report, we're out of this deep freeze we've had the past several weeks with the possibility that all that -25 to -30 weather is but a gentle memory. Gentle only because we were hunkered down, me in the studio with an extra heater going and doggie not far away from it either. Can't complain as it had been amazing snowshoeing for weeks before all that with the temperature hovering just around -5, lovely for our area. There has been endless snow this winter which will be great for the dry forests,replenishing creeks and lakes as well,of course, gardens. I have been painting large acrylic pieces of the Cariboo/Chicotin region for my Williams Lake show at the Station House Art Gallery in May. (opening night is a Thursday-May I, 08). The show is called Meanderings, Musings, and Manipulations. We've been trying to camp in as many places as possible over the years in this region from the White Saddle resort to Stony Lake. It's a huge area and we haven't even scraped the surface. Painting plein air in these places is usually in the fall when we take vacations. I try to paint all the seasons but the fall colours are what I love the most. I've pretty well finished the pieces I needed, now what I paint will be extras that may or may not replace what I've done already. Many of the show paintings are plein air studies which always have that freshness and vitality that is hard to get into a studio painting where compositions of course are often better as more time can be spent in preliminary sketches to get just the right nuances. While painting outside, it's a battle to fight the elements and lighting. My usual tack is to knock in all the shadow tones and then the middle dark values leaving the brightest lights for last and the deepest darks which are often painted negatively for that final punch. I do that even in water colour though the usual way is to work light to dark. Most times, I take a moment to block in a value study of the scene in my sketch book to help me avoid too much detail, but I have to admit sometimes I just gleefully splash the paint about even in acrylic and challenge myself to pull the whole thing off. Sometimes the resulting work is a delight and occasionally a total learning experience. If the process weren't exciting, I wouldn't be doing it. There's a primed canvas waiting for some sanding so I'm off. Would love to hear some more comments. Cheers from the snowy country.

Posted by Sybille Muschik at 08:40 0 Comments
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