acrylic

dunraven pass... I think

During this painting specifically I've learned I struggle with paitence while painting. I love acrylics because they dry so fast, I would LOVE to learn to paint with oils but CANNOT imagine having the patience to wait for things to dry. However while working on this painting I realized how slow dry time would be helpful in the blending of large areas, so maybe in the future I will dabble with oils... we'll see. 

I tried to paint this exactly as I saw it the day I was leaving Yellowstone out the NE entrance, near the Tower area of Yellowstone. It was rainy overcast, the sky melded with the furthest hills and clouds mixed in with the steam from a distant geyser or spring. I also included some ferns that were near the road. I don't know how to explain it but when it is overcast the greens of leafy stuff like ferns just seem SO vibrant green again the dark forest green background. 

I think the large trees could use some more definition from the closest hill of trees behind it [picture doesn't show any but trust me there is some in the painting] but thinking back when I saw it in real life, there was little distinction and they kind of melted together. 

I know I need to work on detail technique in my landscapes but I need to work on having patience for little fine work like that. Overall I am happy with this, I think it captures the essence of what that place felt like to me. The place was misty and wet and vast and like most of Yellowstone it felt ancient, and I feel that when I look at the final product here. 

prismatic

Yellowstone is, let's keep it real, one of the best places if not the best place in America. Everyone knows it's great but if you haven't been there, know that it's 10 times better than you think. It is like nothing you have ever experienced. I am doing a whole series on Yellowstone so I am going to talk piece by piece about the inspiration from the park in each painting. 

So I'm gonna talk about the grand prismatic spring for a second here. It is huge. There are paths to see it from a higher ground to get a larger view of it but I really preferred it from the boardwalk point of view. There are so many small areas of beauty, it of course is amazing and beautiful as a whole but when you are up close and personal with it you get to see that it has so many more colors and it such a delicate feel. In the fields leading up to the spring the water flow on-top the mud has caused the bacteria to form these windy trails that look like arteries almost. I love when you see biology within other biology, it gives you a sense that we are connected to the natural world, because we truly are.

Midway geyser basin is the stop you need to make in Yellowstone, if you are doing a one day trip driving through this is the place to stop, not old faithful. In this one stop alone you get to see 2 gigantic springs [grand prismatic and the dormant excelsior geyser] and the incredible turquoise pool, which I will also be featuring a piece on. 

For this painting I wanted to focus on the edge of the bacteria line, where the vibrant colors are beginning to pop, and there are mounds of clay/dirt. I had a lot of fun time making this, abstract pieces are always interesting to play around with new methods of blending and application. I wish it had turned out a little less peach and more orange but I really love this piece. 

year of the bison

We all know that bison are the ish. 

I met a ton in the Dakotas and Wyoming, but it seems the ones I get to encounter close up [not that close though, I'm not about to selfie with a bison] are bulls going through rut looking a mess like this. 

If you could only hear the bellowing belch/honk coming from this guy. So about 3 minutes after this picture was taken, he walked out towards our car on the road stared into my soul and yelled at us. He never broke eye contact as we drove away. I will never forget you grumpy bison! 

If you could only hear the bellowing belch/honk coming from this guy. So about 3 minutes after this picture was taken, he walked out towards our car on the road stared into my soul and yelled at us. He never broke eye contact as we drove away. I will never forget you grumpy bison! 

Not that I have anything against grumpy drooly bulls, I just wanted to paint a sweet one. When I think of bison I want to nuzzle my face in their fluffy fur on their forehead. Knowing that I can't do that in real life [apart from the goring and death factor they kinda have a smell and are covered in nast] tears apart at my soul. 

Most of the bison I saw were in Teddy Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. Yellowstone did have a lot as well but at TRNP they were bam right there and we lucked out and got to see an entire herd in motion both times I've been there. I would love to do a whole series on TRNP as well [I am already working on a Yellowstone one] because there is such cool stuff there and I feel like nobody knows about it. The Dakotas have so much just incredible stuff and I think it gets overshadowed by the tourist traps. Spearfish Canyon is one of the best scenic drives in the country, and you probably would never know about it unless someone told you, so here I'm telling you. If you go to Rapid City skip deadwood drive up 14 to Spearfish, stop in Lead at the bakery, and you can either go to Devil's Tower or back to RC.  

Anyways, back to the painting, I found it hard to get depth in the fur since they are so dark brown but overall I am happy with how he looks. I wanted him to be peaking out from behind some spruce, because I saw a ton shading themselves in the trees and I like giving animals a more [for lack of a better word] cute feel, although I have contemplated recently to do a series of grumpy animals.