Thursday, September 20, 2012

Painting plein air in the Bugaboos II

Tamarack Glen
Watercolour and marker
©2012 Charlene Brown

In my eagerness to tell you about the helicopter drop-offs, I left out some numbers I hope you’ll find as impressive as we all did at the time… There are five spires in the Bugaboos that top out at more that 3000 meters.  The first day we were dropped off at glacier level, about 2600 meters, with winds gusting to … well not much actually, but at just a few degrees above freezing, any breeze is an icy blast, and those of us who weren’t wearing our storm gear just about froze. One of my fellow-painters, shivering violently commented:

Tim from Denver:  I think I’ve just discovered how Pointillism was invented!

So, the next day we were dropped off in Tamarack Glen, a lovely plateau at an elevation of only 2300 meters.  But it rained, just a little…

Liz Wiltzen, our other instructor (and guide) has painted and hiked in these mountains under even more bracing conditions. Once she got us to our position beside one of the tarns, she pulled her toque over her ears, poured everyone a nice cup of tea (I am not making this up!) and did a brilliant demo of 10-shape, 50-brushstroke painting. I think the 50 brushstroke limitation is a useful concept only for oil and acrylic painters, who can scrumble one fully-loaded stroke all over the place, but I decided to apply the 10-shape paradigm to my watercolour painting, after seeing how well Liz’s boldly-stated demo turned out… Unfortunately, the numbing cold dulled my boldness somewhat and I proceeded to block out the 110-shape jumble on the left, instead. 

Many people already know that Robert Genn is amazing... but here's a picture for those who require proof.  He is starting his third demo of the day on the underside of a board that he has slanted to keep the rain off the paint!