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Old Thursday 14th July 2011, 23:06   #426
ARTHUR BISHOP
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congrats on the show and love the little hummer
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Old Friday 15th July 2011, 00:23   #427
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I mentioned a few posts back about my upcoming float trip in central Oregon. I hope folks will forgive me for posting a few non-wildlife sketches that I've done over the last couple days to help counter the building excitement for this upcoming annual ritual, one my two friends and I have done now for more than a quarter century. I've started a new sketchbook that I'll be using on the trip and rather than wait until the trip actually starts, I sketched a title page for it, and did some other sketches from photos of some recent trips. Here they are.

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Old Friday 15th July 2011, 00:35   #428
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Forgot to include one sketch, this one is of the larger of the two rafts we take down the river. My two friends, their gear and our common gear ride in this boat, and I and my gear ride in the smaller raft shown in the previous post. The river is very wild and remote, with some significant rapids - despite all the years we've run this river, the heart rate always elevates heading into the rapids.

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Old Friday 15th July 2011, 01:32   #429
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John,

Absolutely brilliant pre-travelogue intimacy. This would make a great little read in graphic novel/comics format.
I hope we get to see the story develop..it would be astonishing!
But? Sasquatch? Brrrr! Be careful out there!!!

Have a real WILD time and enjoy every moment because, I'm sure we all will, when you report back...
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Old Friday 15th July 2011, 05:29   #430
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FANTASTIC John, have a great trip, hope the journal is waterproof, its wild everywhere today a gull ate one of my pastels when I wasn't looking.
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Old Friday 15th July 2011, 09:40   #431
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTMB View Post
I mentioned a few posts back about my upcoming float trip in central Oregon. I hope folks will forgive me for posting a few non-wildlife sketches that I've done over the last couple days to help counter the building excitement for this upcoming annual ritual, one my two friends and I have done now for more than a quarter century. I've started a new sketchbook that I'll be using on the trip and rather than wait until the trip actually starts, I sketched a title page for it, and did some other sketches from photos of some recent trips. Here they are.

Attachment 336479Attachment 336480Attachment 336481Attachment 336482Attachment 336483
brilliant- there's a thriving cult of the authentic in this subforum and they sit right in that
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Old Friday 15th July 2011, 10:43   #432
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brilliant- there's a thriving cult of the authentic in this subforum and they sit right in that
. . . indeed - these throb with the very pulse of that beast!
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Old Friday 15th July 2011, 13:00   #433
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Hoo yah! Has the makings of a great trip report journal.

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Old Friday 15th July 2011, 20:23   #434
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. . . indeed - these throb with the very pulse of that beast!
Have to agree. Bodes well for your trip John. In celebration I saw my first osprey in a month or two today. What a thrill it must be to see them from a raft. Have fun and be sure to continue this visual report.
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Old Tuesday 19th July 2011, 09:43   #435
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Your paintings are fun to follow, especially your friends because they look as if they've never done anything else than going on such trips O:-)
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Old Tuesday 19th July 2011, 15:34   #436
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Thanks Phil, Colleen, Ed, Tim, Mike, Ken and Drellas! It's good to see that some of my excitement about our annual ritual comes through in the sketches. Drellas' comment in particular was funny and very true. During our working years (two of us are now retired and one is partly retired) we so looked forward to these trips as complete escapes from the workaday world (and it's easy to feel you have escaped when you're in a canyon with no phones, no internet and no public through roads). That's why we made a pact after the first one that we would try to do them for 20 years (and this year is our 26th!) and with just the three of us - no family, no friends, just us.

So yes, Drellas, we all definitely wanted to feel (and I guess that translated to looking) like these trips were our lives.

We put on the river this coming Sunday, so right now there is a pile of gear on the floor, all ready to go except for cleaning the cooler and loading the food and ice. Oh, yes, and then the slight matter of a 6-hour drive south to get to Ken's place, and then about a two hour process the following day of loading the boats, all the gear, and getting the truck key to the shuttle driver, and then - finally - wading into the bracing water (no waders this time of year, just shorts and bare legs) to get the rafts in position and loaded and we're off.

So here are two more anticipatory sketches from previous years' photos. The first at least marginally fits the forum theme, as it shows an Osprey nest in one of the platforms built for just that purpose. Many of the Osprey nests in the canyon (and there are dozens, perhaps hundreds) are built on railroad telegraph poles (now used for wires that constitute a landslide warning system for the trains to be aware of blockages on the tracks). But those poles are a bit low and have some hazards to the birds, so the ranchers and Indian tribe (whose huge reservation makes one side of the river off-limits for about half our float) put up these platforms to encourage the birds to nest there. Many of them are occupied shortly after being put up. The second sketch is one example of our sophisticated camp 'kitchen' area, with a tarp we hang using three oars lashed together as the main support for the rope holding up the tarp. We often don't put up any tents, just sleeping out under the stars on cots, but it's always wise to have a covered area to scramble to in the event of a thunderstorm.

These sketches are quite quickly done, so they definitely are pretty rough from an artistic viewpoint.

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Old Wednesday 20th July 2011, 07:35   #437
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Great sketch there, feel like I'm going with you...strong journey my friend...
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Old Saturday 23rd July 2011, 11:37   #438
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I have to agree,this is utterly different but great stuff. What a talented chappie you are, sir!

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Old Sunday 24th July 2011, 19:59   #439
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I couldn't find a good link but the most striking camp watecolors I've ever seen were by John Singer Sargent in the Canadian Rockies. Just full of light and color, most of it coming from the tents!
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Old Wednesday 27th July 2011, 18:43   #440
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heyyyyyyyyyy......
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Old Thursday 4th August 2011, 07:01   #441
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Hi everyone,

Well, I got back yesterday from my 11-day adventure in central Oregon. 6 days were actually on the river, plus two 6-hour driving days to/from the area, and 3 days sketching and birding around the beautiful Metolius River. The float trip itself was on the Deschutes River, of which the Metolius is a major tributary. I filled up 18 pages (36 sides) of a 12 x 9 inch Stillman & Birn Delta series sketchbook on the trip, so I was busy...which also means a number of the sketches (especially the birds) were done pretty quickly. And my quick sketches are of course not in the league of a number of the folks here - but were great fun and very educational. First off, here are some posts of primarily Osprey. There are dozens of nests along the river. 'Our' nest - located only about a hundred yards from our campsite - has really gotten quite big over the years as the pair continues to return to the same site. This year, they fledged three young. I wasn't quite sure at first, but eventually saw all five birds in the (very crowded!) nest - with the youngsters identifiable by their orange eyes. (In the US, most hawks start with yellow eyes as juveniles and their eyes are orange as adults, but Ospreys are the opposite - starting orange and ending yellow). Anyway, the first image here was very fast sketches of an Eastern Kingbird that was flycatching by our first night campsite. The sketches are probably 30 seconds or less and are done with fountain pen. Then I did the same thing with the Osprey, trying to get various profiles. For these sketches, I had only binocs - I hadn't even unpacked the scope from the dry bag yet. In the second image, I used the scope and the lower right Osprey was done in a bit more time...pen first, then added watercolor later. The third image, with the page of Cliff Swallows, were also done quickly. The fourth image is of two other species I saw on the trip - Western Scrub-Jay and Green-tailed Towhee, the latter a species rarely seen in my home area and one I always look to find when in central Oregon. The 5th image (and the 6th, in the next post) used the scope and a bit more time. In the last image, in the first headshot sketch, when I added watercolor, I made the bill too 'hooked'.

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Old Thursday 4th August 2011, 07:02   #442
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And here is the final image of this group...

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Old Thursday 4th August 2011, 07:19   #443
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love that final page esp the one looking down...what a marvelous book you made, welcome home and thanks for sharing it with us.
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Old Thursday 4th August 2011, 09:18   #444
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Terrific work, John - there are couple of osprey sketches that really stand out for me; the one bottom right on page three and the one peering out top right page 5 - superb! The colour work adds much to the flavour of the moment - very nice indeed.
Welcome back to dry land.
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Old Thursday 4th August 2011, 13:01   #445
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love that final page esp the one looking down...what a marvelous book you made, welcome home and thanks for sharing it with us.
A really nice and lively collection of drawings John. I think they all have a sense of excitement to them, and all seem connected to their subject. That's one of the great things about field sketching I think, and why it can get so addictive. Putting them in a single sketchbook just for the trip was a great idea. I'm sure you'll enjoy it for years and find subjects for many new works.
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Old Friday 5th August 2011, 15:54   #446
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Thanks Colleen, Tim and Ken!

Here is the next batch. Common Mergansers (in non-breeding plumage) are plentiful on the river and one day on the trip, I found a group of them early in the morning lounging on a small beach area. My sketching location was on the railroad grade (not the tracks, obviously!), probably thirty feet or so higher than the river. I had my scope set up and sketched with the primary objective of getting their shapes accurate in a couple different poses. The sketches were all done with fountain pen, and watercolor washes added to a couple of them when back in camp. The landscape sketches show the view downriver - the first one from our campsite, and the second one from where I was sitting to sketch the mergansers. The canyon is about 1,500 feet or so deep at most points, with basalt cliffs and steep eroded canyon walls the whole length of the float trip. Not as spectacular as the Grand Canyon, but spectacular in its own way. No public roads go through the canyon, just the railroad, so it's quite isolated.

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Old Friday 5th August 2011, 18:22   #447
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good job John, you really got those heads right...and like the combo of the pen and wc, very impressive.
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Old Friday 5th August 2011, 19:38   #448
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. . . and again - some real pearls here, John. Splendid job!
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Old Friday 5th August 2011, 19:51   #449
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A pleasure to see John. I think they all show that you are starting to enjoy working from life. Once that happens it's hard to stop. I think these may have more of that sense of enjoyment than anything else I've seen from you.

Though I like them all numbers 2 and 3 are probably my favorites. It looks like you made great use of your trip and your new sketchbook.
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Old Friday 5th August 2011, 23:24   #450
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Thanks again, Tim and Colleen!

Here are a few non-bird sketches to give some context to the trip. The pictures that show the smaller stream and Ponderosa Pine forest are from the Metolius River, a major tributary to the Deschutes where we were floating. It is one of the most gorgeous rivers in the US, in my (and many others) opinion. I took a bit more time with the Metolius sketches than the ones of the Deschutes, which were quite quickly done. The flat area and bank across the river in the first image is the railroad grade that runs through the canyon, which explains why it looks unnatural relative to the rest of the canyon.

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