Sunday, June 15, 2014

Plein air river sketches

Plein air painting has a lot of good points, your outside immersed in nature and surrounded by inspiring views.  There can also be several obstacles.  You have to bring everything your need with you.  The weather and temperature may not be the best for painting.  Even on days that are not too hot the water evaporates fast, leaving dry puddles of paint and even dryer paper.  Unless it it raining...

After a pleasant morning of fly fishing on Shelton Laurel Creek, North of Asheville NC I traded my fishing gear for my Watercolor travel kit.  I setup next to the creek intending to sketch and paint Steve who was still fishing, however, he moved around the bend while I was setting up.  So I have a sketch of the creek san fisherman.

The creek and bank were covered with large rounded rocks.  The bank across the creek had some dying and dead hemlocks.  The result of an introduced asian insect gone wild.  The Hemlock woolly adelgid sucks the sap from the trees weakening and finally killing the trees.  Just a few years ago they were green and healthy, providing shade to the creek and its trout.  Now they are sad reminders of what is gone.  Soon the standing dead wood will fall and rot away.  Other tree species will grow to fill the gaps in the tree canopy, but they will not have the gentle shape and fresh smell of an Eastern Hemlock.    

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