Friday, October 11, 2013

Alone on the Mountain

Papoose Pass Vista - oil on linen - 12x9"
Here, again, a ranger at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, took me to Papoose Pass, an area that would have been inaccessible to me otherwise. It's always scary, going to a new place and starting a new painting, I guess because it's out of my comfort zone. I spent a lot of time walking back and forth trying to get a different view and thinking, "How am I going to compose this? What am I doing here?" I actually saw that I had cell service and tried to call a friend, but she wasn't home. Finally, I just got to it and started putting paint on the canvas! It was so quiet, even birds weren't singing. Very hypnotic, really.

This is what the painting looked like by the time I had to pack up and meet the ranger for the trip back:
I am really happy with the end results! And the painting is SOLD!!!
If you like this, please share it with others. I love to have people enjoying my work! (Notice the little like and share buttons at the bottom of the page...)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Shimmering Water

Oil painting by Linda Schweitzer
"Fetch" - oil on panel - 6 x 6"
So many streams flow into Whiskeytown Lake, and they flow year-round. Here I was really drawn to the beautiful shimmering reflections in the water, and to the whole mood: people out enjoying a beautiful day with their dog. It makes me feel good just looking at it. And that's how I want my viewers to feel when they look at it.

This painting is SOLD!! Yay! And that makes me feel good!

Monday, October 7, 2013

More Paintings...

Sunlit Falls - 8 x 8" oil on panel
 I seemed to be "on a roll" with waterfalls, so I decided to try Crystal Creek Falls. This is a smaller painting, and was harder to do--I don't know why. The sunlight was changing fast. It is easy to walk to this falls. Here is how it looks in a frame--
Afterwards, I went down to the marina with my (now dry) horrible painting from the first day; trying to see if I could rescue it. Well, just then, a sailboat came along, so I turned the whole thing around, from horizontal to vertical, and put the boat in!

Sailing the Lake - oil on linen panel - 10 x 8"

I know this is more hard-edged than most of my work. The reason is that I had to lay the paint on so thickly to cover the painting beneath. Those colorful things floating on the water are called wave attenuators.

Here are some more photos of Whiskeytown, which sadly, is closed now, due to the government shutdown. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

I Forgot to Take a Picture!!!

Morning at Oak Bottom (in progress) - 9 x 12 - oil on linen
I'm totally enchanted by the way the sunlight rolls over the hills in the morning, when everything is soft and dewy, hitting the tops of the tallest trees first. Here I was trying to remember to take pictures of my work at different stages, so I could show how the painting developed. Well, that's a good idea, except I forgot to take a picture when the painting was finished!

You can see how I started here, wiping out the lights and creating paths for the eye to follow around the painting. There is more detail in the finished painting. The two little vertical lines on the right are markers to remind me where to put the two white sailboats.

It turned out that this painting (the completed version), was the one the park superintendent chose as my donation to the National Park Service! (Well, we all have moments like this...)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Alone in the Woods

Boulder Creek Falls - 12 x 9" - oil on linen panel
Until today, I had been on my own as far a finding good places to paint. Well, now, the park superintendent offered to take me to Boulder Creek Falls, a place I would otherwise not be able to visit, because my car is not 4-wheel drive. The whole staff was so friendly there, and really went out of their way to make me feel at home.

We drove for what seemed like miles, up a road that would be impassable with my car, forded a stream, then walked through the woods, uphill (thankfully he carried my pack) to the site of this beautiful waterfall! Then, he left, and said he would send a ranger to pick me up at 3:00. There was no one there, no buildings, nothing. The sound of falls was so loud, it was all I could hear. This made me a little uncomfortable at first, but then I really got into it!

By this time, not only was I sleeping massive amounts, I was hungry all the time. Good thing I had food with me. I looked around for bears every time I opened something to eat!

When the ranger came to pick me up, all I had down on the canvas was an underpainting, which is the browns and grays you see here. I put in the green leaves and whites of the water after the underpainting had dried. That way, I could lay the white on, without it mixing with the brown underneath.
I hope you have a chance to get out in nature today and enjoy the beauty of this world!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Getting my bearings

oil painting
Babbling Creek - 9 x 12" oil on linen panel
Okay, it was second day. I slept about 10 hours. Then I spent the morning taking pictures of the beach, which amazingly, was deserted, probably because of the cold. Finally decided I just had to do something. I really liked Brandy Creek, and set up my easel along the bank.

Here is the set-up. Notice my coffee mug perched conveniently on a rock! The locals say that during the salmon runs, this creek is full of Chinook.

I was happy with this painting! And relieved! Maybe I can do this residency thing after all!!



Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Artist Residency

I just returned from an Artist Residency at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. Pictured above is the Artist's Cabin, where I stayed. It was a fantastic experience! I did not have internet access there, so I will report retroactively.

First, some background... Whiskeytown was founded back during the gold rush. The story is that some prospectors were crossing a stream, when one of their mules slipped, and the kegs of whiskey spilled into the water. So, they named the stream, Whiskey Creek. Afterwards, they called their town, along the creek, Whiskeytown. By 1959, the town only had about 200 residents. They moved out, and the town was flooded, by the construction of a dam that formed Whiskeytown Lake. This was part of the Central California Water Project.
This is Whiskeytown Lake today.

I arrived on a Saturday evening, and met my roommate, Heidi Marshall, a wonderful pastel artist from Michigan. She had been there 2 1/2 weeks and had seen two bears! I never saw any... (Probably a good thing.) Normally, an artist is alone for their residency, but in our case, we overlapped by three days. Being alone, and without internet, sounds almost monastic, and I did find that I felt differently being there. At first, I slept 10-11 hours at night. I wandered around admiring everything on the first day and was not able to decide on anything to paint. My mind was just blank. Finally, I went down to the marina and started a painting, which was not working out at all. Then, Jim Milestone, the Park Superintendent came over, and introduced himself and took my picture, with the horrible painting! He was so nice, and I was so embarrassed. I was asking myself why I ever applied for this!!! What ever made me think I could do this?

(spoiler-it gets better tomorrow)