Thursday, September 15, 2016

Grand Canyon 2016 - Part 6

Thursday, September 15, 2016

After lunch Wednesday, I started to feel the pressure of time. With the option of delivering finished paintings Thursday afternoon and the deadline of Friday afternoon, I needed to make any final adjustments and start framing. I drove off to a quiet, shady spot on the Hermit Road where the shuttles don’t stop and set up shop. I was happy to see that none of the paintings needed much, and a few needed nothing.

My outdoor studio

Afterward, I decided I’d like to have one more 12x24 in inventory. (I suppose given enough resources, I always would want to paint “just one more.”) I hadn’t been to Yaki Point in the afternoon light, so I drove over to see what it could offer. Although the cold front had blown through overnight, the wind was having a hard time leaving. As much as I liked the views on the west side of the point, the wind pushed me to the east side. There I found a stunning scene that would give the viewer a real sense of the Canyon’s depth. It was about 2:30, and the shadows cast a pattern that I liked. Knowing that they wouldn’t stay that way long, I made the commitment to not rush but to paint the scene over two days.

Half-way done.  Other half will be done in a second session.

As I expected, I got the painting only blocked-in before the shadows had changed so much that there was no point continuing. Memory would take me just so far, and I really wanted to be true to my reference and not invent anything. The first-timer may may think the Canyon’s little towers, valleys and temples all look the same, but to the old-timer, each view is unique and recognizable. I want some old mule-rider to say, “Yup, I know that place.”

Bill Cramer at work

After packing up, I took a hike around the Point. I wasn’t quite ready to go back home yet. Maybe I was looking for the company of other painters. Plein air painting during a festival is, most times, a solitary sport. Each painter tends to have his own idea of what to paint and where and when. I don’t really run into many painters out here. This day, George and Marcia Molnar happened upon me while I was adjusting paintings, and again at Yaki Point. But of course, we were all busy painting. After my 12x24, I wandered back up the Hermit Road and found two more. Bill Cramer and Michelle Condrat were painting the vista as the sun set and the moon rose. I didn’t have time to set up and start, since nightfall was imminent; instead, I sat and chatted and then ran interference for them when a tour bus pulled up. The tourists were from Missouri and were only going to be at the Canyon for three hours and were already heading home.

I decided to head home, too, and start the paperwork for my inventory.

Thursday morning, I wanted to get one little painting in before starting the task of framing. I went over to Yavapai Point - always a good spot for sunrise or sunset - and did a 6x8 study of an outcrop. After that, it was back home to frame.

I was lucky to have a nice, shaded porch with a big table to work on. I got out all my frames and framing equipment, all my paintings, and got to work. There’s really not much to say about framing, except that it is a process: photograph the unframed painting, spray with retouch varnish, put it in a frame and photograph it in the frame; fill out paperwork with inventory number, title, price, size, etc., and write the same on the back of the painting with indelible ink; make sure to record the same information on a piece of paper that will stay in my possession, along with the image number(s) from the camera; and finally, stick the painting in a box and add it to the stack. Yes, it’s a lot of things to do, and you have to keep your head on straight. What makes it easier is to have pre-wired the frames before the event. What always makes it hard is thinking up titles. “Canyon Light” -- yawn.

After that, I loaded up the van and drove over to the Kolb Studio to deliver the paintings. And this was all before lunch.

I will write a separate blog post on the paintings themselves; it’ll be sparse on text and heavy on images.

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