Last February I caught a surprise winter sunset and shared photos in “I Chased A Sunset”.
…and it disappeared over the edge
and took a piece of my soul with it.
Really, on the way home from a quick errand to a shopping center I encountered a stunning winter sunset just beginning to color and decided to take a detour through a local park to see it in progress. All I had was my smartphone which doesn’t handle colors and contrasts at all well, but decided I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. The sunset had me racing over acres of the park which is on a ridge over a valley, just the perfect setting to watch the sun drop below the far horizon with both trees as a foreground, and then nothing but sky.
I love the images as photos in all their native color and intricacy, but I’ve also wanted to paint a few. I did not take the time at all last year, but this year, this month in fact, I’m participating in Leslie Saeta’s 30 Paintings in 30 Days (30/30) Challenge for 2016—that’s 30 works of some sort, one for each day of the month. I decided that was as good a reason as any for me to get out some panels I’d prepared with different pastel grounds and paint a few of these during these 30 days.
I didn’t want to create a masterpiece right now this minute and decided on a simple theme. I used my basic box of pastel pieces, the one I take out in the field for quick sketches so if they all get dumped in a creek it’s kind of okay, in part because I wanted that authentic feel of using a limited palette. Also last year I purchased a number of pastel grounds when I couldn’t purchase my regular pastel paper and painted them on 8″ x 11″ Richeson hardboard panels, which had been the wrong size for a project but perfect for this. The ground for this panel was Golden Fine Pumice in a clear gel, and it seems two coats of the stuff is a good base for the mix of pastels I have in this box—from the softest melt-in-your-fingers to hard Nupastels.
I’m looking forward to more sketches this month. They won’t all appear here—yesterday I did a sketch including all my foster cats and kittens from 2015 and published it on The Creative Cat.
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