Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Home Again...Journey's End

It's been awhile, since I sketched those fabulous rock formations of the Southwest, so I again pulled out my 'artist's license' and a reference photo for this reminder... I surely do like rock structures... in fact, cannot remember one I didn't like!  One more final entry will be coming in another week - it HAS been a great journey - far beyond any of my thoughts. 
Arriving, back in Ohio, I made sure by stopping at Swenson's Drive In, for a Galleyboy sandwich... Yes! I was home a week before my year on the road was up; over 13,000 miles... My only regret; the trip ended one year
too soon !  I had a fantastic time, to say the least!  

 I am in the process of writing a book on my 'Odyssey' and am planning on a few sessions on using the 'plexi aid' which really speeds up your sketching of buildings and other shapes... There I said it again - draw shapes, not things! 
  Good luck with your sketching and do it EVERY day!!

Don Getz , AWS
I wish to thank my son, Jeff, for the idea and tech assistance in creating my blog and Cheap Joe's Art Stuff for sponsoring my trip and MonaLisa for getting the 'care' packages out to all the workshop locations and keeping the Cheap Joes blog up to date.  Good work, guys!!

Next to Last Stop...Michigan

It is now coming to mid-August, so I will be sending out one more message after this, which will be of my return to Ohio.

I witnessed this great cloud subject, shortly upon entering Michigan. As most of you know, I am not a 'cloud' painter, however, I have painted more skies on this journey than I can ever remember. This cloud was going to be the 'grand' cloud of the trip!... and it was a delight to see it develop!... some. Wet-into-wet made it happen, to my satisfaction.

I had to shift things around some, to make this composition work, but that is where your 'artist's license' comes into play!

Passing through Holland, Michigan, I spotted this windmill at a Dutch settlement and I felt that it had to be included in my journal number eleven.

ne gentleman in my Manistee workshop is a barn painter (one of his journals was nothing but sketches of barns, so I decided to find a barn for our last class project. The evening prior to the last day, I scoured the local countryside and found this one just on the outskirts of town. Well, he only painted the barn structure, ignoring the adjoining structure, but it was a nice sketch. I went further, as I believe that the setting is vital...

 made a double spread, including the 'back forty' and added a sugar camp for good measure... 'artist's license' again coming onto play...

t's been awhile, since I sketched those fabulous rock formations of the Southwest, so I again pulled out my 'artist's license' and a reference photo for this reminder... I surely do like rock structures... in fact, cannot remember one I didn't like!  One more final entry will be coming in another week - it  HAS been a great journey - far beyond any of my thoughts!!
Next stop, an old farm tractor in Wisconsin ... again, I like old tin. ...
I really liked this old restored building, but not the dull gray colors , so I performed some  alterations  with a tin roof...hope the owners see this...
Onward East... Aboard the car ferry out of  Waunakee, Wisconsin to Ludington, MI.   Next blog: two stops in Michigan and arrival back home in northeast Ohio!... over v18,000 miles to date.
On the backroads to Ohio, I stopped at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners -yes, that's the nearest cross roads with a U.S. Post Office - and managed this brief sketch of a Classic Duesenberg. Get to Gilmore, as they have done great things, five new buildings and more under construction!
Near Saugatuck , but a very likeness to camps in the Adirondacks which I simply had to draw... a good portion of the buildings were hidden by foliage... again, I used my 'artist's license'!

A very busy vacation town, I took the class to this quiet cove for the morning  project. As much as I would like to believe,  a typical day was one sketch in the morning; possibly two after lunch , as we often sketched until 5pm. ... Too much comraderie.....
Hearing about an old steam tractor meet in northern Michigan, I hit the road, after the second session in Manistee was finished, to sketch some of the action - which was plentiful ! ... 16 steam tractors and over 200 farm tractors of all vintage.  At  7am there were 16 steam whistles sounding off, one after another! Time to get to work... Great stuff! 
The old train depot. made a good subject.
Back in Manistee  - second workshop there - I liked this old building in the town center, but I wanted to concentrate on just a part of it... note that I did not  include a border which I felt was not needed.
I somehow managed the time to pull off the pavement and do this sky study - which might well be the first ever for me... It was just too great to pass up. Yes, it was almost dark by the time I laid in the color washes.
I drove up to northern Michigan, to sketch the old Mission Lighthouse, getting there late in the afternoon, so I had to work fast, before I lost the sun... Didn't change a thing... Even the three barrels -imagine they represented whale oil storage (or booze?)...


Gibbon Falls is magnificent ! It is one of the falls which is close to you. Most of the others are off in the distance or a lengthy hike away. 
Fly fishermen everywhere... drag a moist brush, for the drybrush effect for the rippling water effect. Keep the brush head flat to the paper surface.
I sketched the right page first , as it has the main elements for this two pager.
Left page detail...
Right page...  the greatest contrast is established by the dark pines behind the downed tree.
This ridge line is behind you , as you view Gibbon Falls.  Keep it simple!!
Plenty of other stuff there to sketch, as I like old machinery...
Original ink line sketch of an old historic store in West Yellowstone, MT.
The week at Yellowstone  went too fast!!
This trash receptical was the only time I saw Old Faithful 'do its thing'.
On to the Grand Tetons...
Detail, left page...again, perfect weather was with us...
Right page is the feature of the two pages .
Another old tree serves as a monument  to the past. Note that the highlights on the trunk branches looks 'whiter' than the actual white paper. That is due to the contrast with the darks in the background.
A trip to Jackson Hole would not be complete without a sketch of the historic Moulton barn. I made the mountains larger than life, so that they were more important, s they may be ten miles away. 
I was constantly faced with fantastic rock outcroppings. Again, simplicity was the key and softening the background shapes. A reminder; think shapes, NOT things (mountain, car, building, people, etc)
On location, the atmosphere was so clear that the background shapes looked like they were very close to the foreground mountain, so, I made them lighter and cooler to push them back.
On to Wyoming ... Looks like a giant sand pile around this mountain, as the stone had dissolved. The tiny red barn was needed to show the scale relationship to the mountain.
A visit to Mt Rushmore, the ongoing Crazy Horse sculpture project. and  a day in Sturgis, SD, sax it preps for the annual 'bikers reunion' were all sites to see - at least once! 
The trip was only complete, after a real steam train ride out of Keystone, SD.
No 'Indian' attacks or hold ups, just a nice two hour ride thru the Black Hills!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Journey Stop #11: Montana

First two page spread... The park let itself to two page spreads, I took advantage of the situation, using my 'artists license' often. 

Detail of two pager 

First morning in Yellowstone Park... I like to arrive several days before the class, searching for good sites, shade,  etc. 

I met this lady, working in oils that first day out. She and her friend were doing a great job as the second lady's husband did a yeoman's job of moving equipment .  The sketch is typical of how I start a journal sketch -big shapes and little detail. 

Remember, I always paint the focal point first...actually here, I painted the dark pines around the lighter rocky cliff. Notice how the white highlights on the rocks look brighter than the plain white paper...that happens due to the dark values around those white highlights. 

Another two pager...First day of my class found us just ten miles from the west gate, as I didn't want to spend lots of time driving. 

Detail of two pager ... do not go crazy with detail; simplify as much as. possible.

Detail of second two pager. Again, the contrast between the dead downed tree and the dark pines create the needed contrast for the focal point.

A simple pattern of trees and  rocks.

Of all the water falls in the Yellowstone, I prefer Gibbon, as it is very visable from the road and is very active. I chided the NPS for not having any restrooms at such a very busy site!

Another double pager. Now we are in the Tetons; a perfect time for a two pager. This view had a niumber of big pines along the shoreline which I removed. Mostly.

Detail of first Teton sketch.

Detail of other half of Teton spread.

At this location. the pines almost blocked out the background  mountains which I wanted to support the feeling of the region. Thus the simpllication of the   trees and distant mountains.

Fly fishermen are plentiful which add action and scale to the sketch.