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Old Friday 5th August 2011, 23:41   #451
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And a couple more bird sketches to finish out the trip...

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Old Friday 5th August 2011, 23:47   #452
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I'm going to have to come back to these to give them their dues. Nice.
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Old Saturday 6th August 2011, 03:25   #453
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I'm going to have to come back to these to give them their dues. Nice.
Me too. Life gets in the way....
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Old Saturday 6th August 2011, 21:30   #454
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nice series!
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Old Monday 8th August 2011, 15:53   #455
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Hope your group didn't get skunked. I don't see any fish portraits. Just kidding. I'm sure you caught many and might very well have put them back.

I probably wouldn't have said anything except that the sketches of the fishermen remind me of a large abstract painting I did of our local stream with me in it with my flyfishing line snaking across the canvas. And then I sketched a little fingerling trout in the water the other day. Fish on my brain I guess.

Hope you'll be able to keep up this output with local birds and activities. I think there is just something exciting about a sketchbook with almost daily work (not that I at all have accomplished that myself!!).
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Old Monday 8th August 2011, 17:01   #456
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Thanks Tim, Phil, Matt and Ken!

Ken - Plenty of fish were caught, no problem there - but as you suspected, our fishing is all catch and release with barbless hooks. All the trout in this river are native, no stocking is done at all. (Steelhead are both wild and hatchery-reared, but our trip focuses on trout.) Because of the art, I don't fish at all anymore, even though I taught the other two guys how to flyfish 26 years ago when we started - and created two maniac fisherpeople in the process. It is possible to keep two fish a day on the river if you want (slot regulation - no smaller than 10 inches, no bigger than 13; designed to protect the young fish and the larger breeding fish) but almost no one does because it is such a quality fishery. The river is actually world famous among both trout and steelhead fishermen. So sketching the fish is a bit tough because with catch and release fishing, you try to minimize the stress on the fish - usually the fish isn't even taken out of the water, it's just netted, the net kept under the water, the hook slipped out carefully (with barbless hooks, removing them is very easy and using flies, the fish is almost always hooked in the lip, not further down). Then if the fish is really tired from a long fight - which tends to be the case with large trout in this very strong river - you cradle them under water with their head upstream into the current and move them back and forth to get water over their gills. A minute or so of doing this has them strong and ready to go again.

I think I'll pull out some pix of when I used to fish and had snapshots of some of the trout I caught and do a sketch of them...!
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Old Wednesday 10th August 2011, 09:00   #457
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what a collection! a priceless treasure trove of memories from what looks to have been a fanatastic trip - as Ken said, the pleasure of working in the field really shows!
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Old Thursday 11th August 2011, 19:07   #458
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very nice drawings
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Old Friday 12th August 2011, 16:06   #459
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And a couple more bird sketches to finish out the trip...

Attachment 340381Attachment 340382Attachment 340384Attachment 340385
just in to enjoy the diary and the ospreys

I find that in real life, ospreys are most always horizontal or bolt upright vertical

but in paintings they are often neither one nor the other, and are posed at about 45 degrees

but your drawings look bang on done from real
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Old Wednesday 17th August 2011, 01:42   #460
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Thanks Nick, Gaby and Ed!

Spurred on by Colleen, I've been doing plein air pieces since getting back from the raft trip. I enjoy painting with oils, particularly plein air, but haven't done too many of them. So, as Colleen did with her seascapes, I'm going to be doing a lot of plein air landscapes in oils while our summer (and hopefully into the autumn) provides good outside sketching weather.

Here are two of the five I've done in the last five days. I love old barns and so picked landscapes with barns in them. There is a (admittedly slight) birding connection in that there was a wing-tagged Red-tailed Hawk perch hunting from the largest barn in the first photo. I was excited to see that bird and read the wing tag number because I know the person who tags these hawks in our area. He runs the Falcon Research Group (www.frg.org) which you should check out for groundbreaking satellite tracking info on the tundra subspecies of Peregrine Falcon migrating between Chile and the Canadian far north. He captures young Red-tailed Hawks each season at SeaTac International Airport in Seattle, since the young birds are unsophisticated about the planes and are a risk for getting sucked into jet engines with bad results for the bird and the plane. (They leave the adults, who have figured out to stay away from the planes.) He relocates the birds to Skagit County, about 60 miles north of Seattle, wing-tags and bands them and then lets them loose. Turns out this bird was a female captured in September of 2010 and released the same day. It had only been reported twice before my sighting, all three times where I was painting - not too far from its release site. So, this young female made it through her first winter successfully, a critical time period for young raptors.

Ah, but I digress...back to the paintings.

These are both in oils, on 9 x 12 inch canvasboard, done plein air in about two hours each. The first is in Skagit County, and the second is in Carnation, WA, about 13 miles from my house. I purposely used color schemes that did not replicate local color, and also used a limited palette of six colors plus white.

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Old Wednesday 17th August 2011, 09:33   #461
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These are great - very true sense of light in the work. Carry on!
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Old Thursday 18th August 2011, 03:19   #462
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John,

Such travelogue treasures!

Gonna come back and study these more...
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Old Thursday 18th August 2011, 13:18   #463
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John,

Such travelogue treasures!

Gonna come back and study these more...
Very nice landscapes, with nice understanding of colour...

I'm a big fan of notebooks and diaries, the earlier entries are superb, thanks for posting these, nice to read and even nicer to look at the wonderful drawings...
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Old Thursday 18th August 2011, 19:02   #464
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love the colors in both paintings
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Old Thursday 18th August 2011, 20:03   #465
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love your dedication to your art John
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Old Saturday 20th August 2011, 22:36   #466
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These are great - very true sense of light in the work. Carry on!
Some of the best light I've seen so far in your work I think John. As Tim says, carry on!
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Old Thursday 1st September 2011, 15:56   #467
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Plein Air Landscapes

Thanks Tim, Phil, Alan, Gaby, Colleen and Ken!

Wow, I let my thread fall onto the second page - shame on me! The reason is that after my river trip and sketching a lot of birds from life, I've been focusing on plein air landscapes - my goal for September is one per day (weather permitting). We've had a very late, cool and wet summer (unlike pretty much the whole rest of the country) and so once summer arrived I had to get out and do some landscapes. I've also been focusing more on oils, having only previously done about 40 of them and a number of which were class projects. [Colleen - I'll shortly be taking a four day workshop on the Oregon coast, focused on plein air coastal landscapes and seascapes.]

Here are three recent oils, the first two are 9 x 12 and the third one 8 x 10 and all done in a couple hours plein air. The first was done during a plein air paintout event in our little town during its big annual Railroad Days festival. It is of the Snoqualmie River from a park right in town, looking upriver toward Mount Washington. The second is of a slough that borders an off-leash dog park and natural area in our town. The second one was photographed while still wet so not the best photo. The third is of the 4th fairway and hole of the golf course in our neighborhood that just hosted a Champions (senior) Tour PGA event. I found a spot right by the course, and snugged up against a tree for shade and to be as inconspicuous as possible and painted this in about and hour and a half. None of these, of course, are finished pieces. The first two I'm considering doing as studio pieces - when our winter monsoon season hits here, the very short days and soggy climate pretty much means painting inside.

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Old Thursday 1st September 2011, 18:13   #468
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you're a natural for plein air...these are terriffic...and that coastal painting workshop sounds great....who is teaching it?
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Old Thursday 1st September 2011, 19:00   #469
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you're a natural for plein air...these are terriffic...
Exactly right. Colleen has hit the nail on the head. These are both accomplished and natural, no feeling of being forced or struggling. Seems as Coleen says that you're a natural for plein air.

I skipped a chance to get involved with a similar plein air exhibit about a month ago. Now I'm beginning to think I shouldn't pass up the next opportunity, at least not if I can get work that looks slightly reminiscent of this.
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Old Thursday 1st September 2011, 19:30   #470
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Thanks Colleen and Ken! I'm definitely enjoying plein air, and hoping that the on-site studies will help with my studio pieces over the winter. Time will tell...

Colleen - the workshop is through the Sitka Center (www.sitkacenter.org) and the instructor is Phyllis Trowbridge (http://www.phyllistrowbridge.com/). I don't think the instructor is particularly well known, but I like her work and the location is just spectacular. So the worst case is that I get to spend a week in a gorgeous location, and I always get something from every instructor and every workshop, so it will be good.
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Old Thursday 1st September 2011, 20:50   #471
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Terrific work John - you have an uncanny ability to see the hue changes as well as the tonal variation as light meets dark. Top class mate - I wish my plein air work were half as good! Good lck with the workshop - definitely an area to nurture and allow to bloom.
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Old Thursday 1st September 2011, 23:01   #472
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I wish my plein air work were half as good!
I second that John, lovely work.

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Old Saturday 3rd September 2011, 11:40   #473
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Terrific work John - you have an uncanny ability to see the hue changes as well as the tonal variation as light meets dark. Top class mate - I wish my plein air work were half as good! Good lck with the workshop - definitely an area to nurture and allow to bloom.
Yes, I'm a huge admirer of those who can do this. I woudn't have a either the inclination or any idea where to start with something like this. Very nice indeed.

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Old Saturday 3rd September 2011, 15:13   #474
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Thanks very much Tim, Russ and Mike! My goal in the month of September is one plein air painting per day, weather permitting...one of the reasons I haven't been doing as many birds. But I'll be back to birds as well, of course.
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Old Saturday 3rd September 2011, 18:46   #475
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Thanks very much Tim, Russ and Mike! My goal in the month of September is one plein air painting per day, weather permitting...one of the reasons I haven't been doing as many birds. But I'll be back to birds as well, of course.
Just keep showing them here, John. Great stuff!
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