Remnants of Life

Remnants of Life PhotographNoticing the remnants of life around me. After a great visit with our family in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, we started the long drive home.  Aspen are magical, as they transform the color of an entire mountainside in Fall. They take my breath away. My husband and I stopped on the side of the road and took a short walk to stretch our legs and reenergize. We followed what looked like an old game trail meandering up the hill.

A Beautiful Spot

Remnants of Life 02
14.5w x 22.5h watercolor, acrylic on 140lb wc paper

Suddenly, as we crested the hill we came upon a beautiful meadow with a patch of brilliant yellow aspens just a little way off in the distance. There was this great old fencepost standing with a lean, he was all tangled up in barbed wire and I could see where the fence line was long ago. There were multiple posts leaning and falling down in a line leading away from us.

Remnants of Life 07I wondered what kind of stories that old fence post could tell if he could talk. That post was where a gate had hung, at the base of a beautiful expanse of grazing land. Was this a large farm or ranch in the past? Were there cattle, horses, gardens, homes, and barns? This artist’s mind kicked into high gear then. Wouldn’t it be great to explore and see if the story from a long time ago could be found? Are there pioneer cabins back there? Big ole’ log barns? Ponds?

Remnants of Life 12Where did all the people go? Standing there, we were very much alone as the sun sank further down in the sky. I took some photographs of this sturdy old cracked fence guardian before leaving.

Remnants of Life 18His, “Remnants of Life” will remain a secret, but the beauty of the land that he guards will be seen by whoever views this painting.

Birch Treeline at Slavin

Birch Meadow Slavin Conservation Distr B0920
10″w x 7″h watercolor on 140lb cold press wc paper.

Birch Treeline at Meadow

Birch treeline at Slavin Conservation District in early spring. This painting began as a Plein air day with friends from Spokane Watercolor Society (SWS). I shared in an earlier post about the outing. I am putting this post up to show you how a plein air day inspires in my studio.

Plein Air Outings

Plein air is something dearly loved by this artist. I’m not sure if it is the feeling of freedom that I feel while painting outside or is it the amazing colors, smells, and excitement that inspire me to grasp for more in any piece that begins outside.

Slavin Conserv 01

Here is the watercolor sketch I brought home with me from the outing. An idea of the colors and layout. My phone was full of pictures I took for me to work from for all the details.

Slavin Conserv 02
Meadow in early Spring, with a birch and pine treeline at Slavin Conservation District, Spokane WA.

I quickly added basic underpainting tones in the sky and meadow between the treeline when I got back in the studio. I do this to remember the feel of what I saw, till I could take the time to finish it later.

Painting en Plein air is sometimes cold or hot and a little tiring but it is always a worthwhile event for me. Not only do I get to walk and draw/paint outdoors, but I also get to see fellow artists too. There are a no better group of people than the crazily creative artists of our world. We are the people who see the beauty that others don’t notice. Unnoticed beauties that capture our heart, inspiring us to bring life back around in beautiful colors and lines, till another can basque in its discovery.

If what I have painted gives your spirit an uplifting feeling of appreciation, then I have succeeded. My heart is smiling.