Path to the Sketching Spot




Path to the Sketching Spot
Xwaaqw’um VI
oil on birch panel, 48″ x 24″

This painting is called “Path to the Sketching Spot”, as it is a place I’ve been to numerous times on earlier expeditions to the valley. After completing several sketches, a small painting was done in situ from which this larger work evolved in my studio.

I remember setting off in the latter part of a September afternoon, when the light in the valley is at its best, with my gear: easel, charcoal, conté crayon, big newsprint pad etc, and sketching in bliss, standing well off the beaten path, half-hidden in the long grasses, back against the woods along Lee creek. Both morning and evening light are favoured by visual artists, as it’s easier to see the big shapes when the sun is lower in the sky and the values created by its light are less scattered.

The view here is towards the old quarry, which was first cut in 1962 by Prince Johannes von Thurn und Taxis. It is now included within the park boundaries, and offers much interest to this painter of “shapes, not things”. Not surprisingly, abandoned quarries were choice subjects of three of my favourite painters: Van Gogh, Cézanne and Carr.

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