Thursday, July 26, 2012

Roan Mountain 2012

In this post is a record of my 6 day journey and 23 small paintings I completed.  All of them were done on the spot ala prima (all at once) except for #23 which I messed with.

On June 6, 2012 I met with my good friend and painter Craig Franz to paint Roan Mountain, this was our 3rd annual trip to paint Roan Mountain.  My goal this year was to become more efficient with my painting equipment. Everything was ultralight. All of my canvas's were 8" wide in various formats mounted on 1/16" museum board.  I was able to carry 8 wet paintings back to back in a box I constructed 8.5 x 10.5 x 3.25" using my 8 x 10 Open M Box palette, tripod, paints & brushes, OMS, food & water gave me 22 pounds of gear.  The other thing I did differently was to train, by hiking up a small mountain near my home about a month ahead of time. This made a huge difference.

#1 Study 6x8 oil on canvas -10am down Round Bald, Jane Bald and Grassy Ridge in the background

Craig Franz before our ascent up Grassy Ridge.  Craig is a real man with a real back pack, though he is going a lot lighter this year than last. We keep getting smarter.

Here is a good shot of my gear on Grassy Ridge about 6300' elevation.  It was an absolutely beautiful day with heaven like clouds and shadows.

#2 Study 8x6 oil on canvas - 1PM Spruce and Clouds on Grassy Ridge

#3 Study 5x8 oil on canvas  - 3PM Cloud shadows looking South across Grassy Ridge.  After this one we headed down to find us a campsite at Roan Mountain State Park which is 8miles down the hill on the Tennessee side.

On day 2 we were socked in with fog and clouds, fairly chilly about 49 degrees all day long.  It never did clear up and we stayed right near the parking lot at Carvers Gap.  Why go up and up when it all looks the same.  Here is an example of another smart old man decision!

#4 Study 6x8 oil on canvas - 9AM ah those subtle grays!

Here was my palette for painting the foggy scene.  Folks will ask me how did you mix that gray color, well there is! A little bit of everything plus white.  It is quite fun actually and it is really about knowing the personality of each of your colors.

#5 Study 6x8 oil on canvas - 11AM. I kept telling Craig that the sun was going to break loose any minute.  Well I got tired of waiting and just made it sunny by doing the same scene before but imaging the sun light.

#6 Study 10x8 oil on canvas - 1PM. Looking up Round Bald catching a glimpse of the occasional cloud breaks, here the blue in the sky appeared psychedelic, it was fun to attempt capturing it!

I wish we had taken more photos of  the painters together, here is one Craig took of me after getting a bite to eat.

#7 Study 8x7 oil on canvas - 3PM, Up Round Bald with more cloud breaks

#8 Study 8x8 oil on canvas - 5PM Appalachian Trail Cut-Through with cloud breaks looking South

Day 3 was beautiful day with thick fog in the valleys which lifted up to represent heavenly clouds by mid morning.

We were joined by my friend and artist Jeremy Sams, Jeremy is painting next to the rock

If you want to capture these kind of cloud in your painting, you've got to paint like a crazy man!

#9 Study 10x8 oil on canvas - 8:30AM on Round Bald Morning light

Craig Franz painting a high key painting!

#10 Study 8x7 oil on canvas - 10AM Cloud study looking West face-lit hill, added the trail for interest

#11 Study 8x8 oil on canvas - 11AM looking at the Appalachian Trail down Round Bald, Grassy Ridge in background

Photo of Catawba Rhododendron on our way up Grassy Ridge

Ah!! glad to get these off our backs!  It is hard to discern but the distant dark ridge is cloudland and Roan Gardens about 5 miles distance. the next hill is Round Bald with lots of up and down elevation change about 2 miles.

#12 Study 8x8 oil on canvas - 2PM, face lit greens on Grassy Ridge with cloud shadows in the distance.

Jeremy Sams taking a pose with his Shadebuddy Umbrella on the Top of the World!....East Coast that is

#13 Study 6x8 oil on canvas - 4PM cloud shadows over Cloudland and Grassy Ridge Rocks

Day 4, I painted this cloud view up Round Bald - #13 Study 6x8 oil on canvas

#15 Study 8 x 10 oil on canvas - around the corner the view of the sky looking up the AT was fabulous, and there were plenty of hikers to pose for models, but only briefly.

#16 Study 8 x 10 oil on canvas - AT down Round Bald, the scene here is face-lit greens with not much restriction in the visibility. Kind of challenging, so I thought I'd give it a try.

#17 Study 8 x 8 oil on canvas - Mid afternoon here I was struck the the brilliant light, kind of back & top-lit scene with mountain shadows in the background.

#18 Study 8 x 8 oil on canvas - slight right turn from the last one, looking up Round Bald did this cloud study.

Didn't get many photos of myself, here I am at arms length with my sunburned lips. Needless to say I spent a lot of time looking into the sun.

On Day 5 the following week, June 12, 2012 I came up with my 2 sons, This is Joshua, 19, who loves to run and do anything sports related. I didn't paint this day as the sun was just going down, and I had to make some supper

On our way up to see the sunset my son Joshua found this Salamander on the AT, he was so bright orange it didn't look real.  We moved him off the the grass as he was a slow mover.

Not much of a sunset but some really awesome clouds!

Day 6, June 13th I met up with several members of the Charlotte Plein Air Painters Did this #19 Study 10 x 12 oil on canvas - looking towards the sun with a heavy dew and mist in the air.

#20 Study 12 x 16 oil on canvas - around 10:30 AM clouds began to form in the vista

#21 Study 12 x 12 oil on canvas - spruce and vista, the light here is soft and face-lit

#22 Study 8 x 10 oil on canvas - this one was done after supper and some home roasted coffee as I saw the sunset from the Cloudland parking lot, great fun!

#23 Study 6 x 8 oil on canvas - here I just turned around and saw this awesome thunderstorm in the valley opposite the sunset.  This is a real quickie, maybe 15 minutes, all the colors changed so rapidly as the sun sank below the horizon.

This is my oldest son Caleb, 22, that same evening he hiked up to Grassy Ridge to camp on top of the mountain.

This is the same view he had from Grassy Ridge of the thunder heads

This is the sunrise my son Caleb woke up to on Grassy Ridge.  It helps he is a great photographer.

Day 7 I took my french easel up Round Bald to do, or start this 24 x 20 on the AT

Here is a large 30 x 40 studio work I am finishing from one of my 6 x 8 studies of Round Bald

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