When it's foggy out, I go for hikes or drives. The fog doesn't always last very long, but I try and capture some images - mostly for future paintings, but also just to be out in the elements. Fog over aspens really reduces them to their basic shapes and elements. It takes them from 3D complicated elements to simple 2D patterns. Basically fog makes things easier.
While in Spain in May and June we took a few day break after our Camino to rest at Razo Beach in Northwestern Spain. It meant I finally had time to paint in my sketchbook. It was fast and quick - paint dries so fast outside. But was nice to spend a few moments in my own head while enjoying this beautiful beach.
Man, bushes and grass are hard in watercolor. This desert scene is based on our recent camping trip from Durango to Moab. We were camping in Castle Valley when the rains came upon us. It was pretty beautiful - now if only I can make the watercolors come close. I'm getting better though, right?
Another year, another amazing time in Durango for their May Gallery Walk. I am always impressed by this town's turnout and their support of the arts. Diane West's new gallery space is fantastic - bigger, better, and brighter and at the heart of town on Main Street. Thanks to all who came out in support of Durango artists!
As with every year for my show at Diane West Art, we take this time to go camping and biking. Durango melts out a little quicker than Park City and is usually a little bit warmer. With Moab right in between, we also like to take advantage of all that amazing outdoor goodness - like this bike ride here at the Bar M trails after it rained.
Or this fantastic hike at Fisher Towers in Castle Valley outside of Moab. Highly recommended.
Then there was camping in the rain in Castle Valley - a beautiful place.
Beautiful scenes driving through rainy SW Colorado, complete with bison.
Then there was this hike up Goulding Trail up the Animas Valley. It was steep up, but with a rewarding little valley and log cabin at the top. Plus we saw bear prints and missed seeing the bear by 2 min - or so we were told by other hikers.
This here is Hermosa Creek. We seem to end up here every time we go - whether for hiking, biking or camping.
And more of Hermosa creek looking down into the Animas River Valley. Thanks Durango for a great excuse to go camping!
A couple weeks ago it snowed, about a foot, and I took a lovely picture of our outhouse. I thought, oh that would be nice to paint, and then I put it off for while because there were a lot trees and it was going to be hard. But I finally got to it and I like the result. What I'm finding with difficult subject matter is to take it step by step. First, do an outline drawing. Then a few trees, add some detail, add some more detail and eventually you'll get there. Glad that I finally got around to painting it.
My latest works are now down and ready to head out to Durango, CO for a show at Diane West Art. Really pleased with these new paintings and excited to get back to SW Colorado. If you're in the area, come by and say hi. Matt and I will be in Durango for Gallery Walk on Friday, May 13th from 5-9 pm. This one is a fav - Apt Juncture, 40x30 in.
It's truly a delight to see my work on the wall in someone's home. That's where I think the art shows the best, in situ, in a home surrounded by furniture, windows and people. Huge thanks then to local Park City interior design firm, Alder & Tweed, for this amazing video that includes one of my largest paintings - a diptych called Fate & Luck. Hats of to Alder & Tweed for their amazing skills and this fabulous video, which also includes the works of fellow Gallery MAR artists Matt Flint and Nina Tichava.
In preparation of our upcoming trip to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago, I am trying to get in some mileage. We've been walking on the rail trail a lot lately because there's a lot of miles there and I feel like the wide, gravel trail could be similar to what we'll be walking in Spain. There are some lovely views from the rail trail. I tried to capture one here.
For a while now I have been infatuated with indigo and shibori dyed textiles - I've even had dreams about them. Then after happening upon a well written DIY post, I realized that I too could dye my own shibori. I bought a Jacquard Indigo Tie Dye Kit, a stack of Cotton Craft Napkins, Flour Sack Towels, and even some extra cotton fabric and got after it. Now, after two shibori days, I can say I am in love. Don't expect a textile business any time soon, but there might be some shibori present gifted away, because I really enjoy the process and love undoing the binding to see the final result.
The results of my second Shibori Day. The second time around, I let the fabric soak longer and for multiple times to get darker, richer blues.
First thing you have to do is bind your cloth. Shibori is basically really, really advanced tie-dying. There are many, many ways to bind your cloth and all have special names and interesting techniques. You can wrap beans in the fabric, use thread to make cones, rubber bands, pieces of wood to sandwich the fabric and much more. In case you're curious, I bought these two books: Shibori Designs & Techniques and A Handbook of Indigo Dyeing.
Following the directions of the indigo kit, I mixed the dye and the other chemicals in a big tupperware container. You can do it in a regular bucket, but they recommend that you have a tight-fitting lid to minimize its contact with oxygen so the dye will last longer. When you first mix it all together, it kind of fizzes and then forms this crazy metallic film on the top. Apparently, this is a good thing.
Then I took all my prepared fabrics and put them in a bucket of water to soak. When you are ready to dye, take one out, wring out the water and prepare to dye.
I definitely recommend wearing the big, long gloves. Here I am dying my first piece.
The dye comes out bright green at first and then as the dye oxidizes it will turn indigo. You can see here that the insides of the fabric have not been dyed, because they are still white.
A range of colors - the green just came out of the vat, then turquoise has oxidized a bit, then the darker blues are fully oxidized. Science!
Here is a beautiful piece that was accordion folded, then sandwiched between two square pieces of wood and held together with rubber bands. When I unfold this, it will have a square pattern.
I unfolded this one first - it was folded into triangles and then sandwiched between wood pieces. As it comes out, some of the interior folds haven't seen oxygen yet and are still green. It is so much fun to unfold or unbind the fabric. Definitely the best part of the process.
Here, I've taken my trusty seem ripper to undo the cone-shaped wrapped sections. It has a very tie-dye feel, but far more sophisticated.
The results of the first Shibori Day! After unbinding the fabric, ensure that everything has oxidized, then you can rinse in fresh water to get rid of excess dye. Afterwards, I threw all the towels in the washing machine and rinsed a number of times to get rid of the dye. I am hoping they no longer bleed, but to be safe, I'll wash them with darks this next time.
Seriously, it was SO MUCH FUN. Looking forward to getting another set of napkins and towels and maybe even a table cloth and some white shirts. *Please Note* This post contains affiliate marketing links to products I have purchased and used. If you click through and purchase from my link - I get a little commission. Hey, every little bit helps right?