I drive lonely sometimes forgotten roads, hike, scramble, bushwhack, get rained on, sometimes burnt and almost always eaten alive by bugs, all while trying to get to places that call to me. Some of these places are beside a road or trail, others are so far away from signs of people that it is easy to forget that people exist. I take a ridiculous amount of pictures, to the point that I drive my family nuts when they join me on adventures. When I can, I stop and do quick conte drawings on small pieces of paper that are easy to keep in my pocket. Occasionally, when the stars align, I bring paint and do plain air. Sometimes my marks capture the landscape in general and sometimes they are of the little things that make up the landscape.
When I get home I go through the photographs and drawings choosing the ones that best tell the landscapes story and the moment of time captured, then I do large loose gestural charcoal or soft pastel sketches of them. Some times I combine multiple images or sketches into one drawing, quilting them together.
Once the big drawing is done I think, stretch paper or prime canvase, eventually mixing my paints and roughing out the drawings composition on my chosen surface.
Then I turn up the music and paint.
• I mix my own blacks, greys, greens… really all my colours and use a basic primary colour selection to do so.
• My worst experience with bugs was in the arctic in early summer. The noise they made on my gortex sounded like hail and the air was thick with them. It was unreal.
• When working in watercolour if there is white in my painting I use the colour of the paper or canvas instead of white paint.
• I am terrified of bears and cougars… even more so of moose. THEY ARE HUGE and UNPREDICTABLE!!!
• I have had the same watercolour pallet since 1998, I love it.