Truth be told, i’ve had this finished for almost a month now…i’ve been just been procrastinating on actually posting about it. Why? That lovely thing that is artistic conceit that gets you thinking that if you just keep tweaking at it and adding just-one-more-thing, it’ll be perfect.
Thankfully work, life in general and planning for my upcoming trip to Europe (more on that soon) has kept me from turning the finished piece into a messy jumble trying to achieve unknowable perfection. I’m actually…pleased, with the way this turned out. When I first started it, i’d never done a landscape drawing that wasn’t just mountains, mountains and more mountains but I was so enamored by the landscape of Canyonlands NP that I knew I just had to try my hand at it. It started with the rough sketch of graphite, then entered the inking stage I love so much and thats where I paused because I didn’t know if I dared to dip into color, and if I did dare, what route should I take? Bold reds and oranges, what you would expect of this Utah landscape? Muted browns and greens for a more traditional feel? Those all sounded like good ideas but they weren’t me, and after I had done color sketch after color sketch, I finally found myself at the completely other end of the spectrum I had started on, holding purples, blues and pinks in additional to the predictable browns.
I’ve already started sketching out some ideas for the next project, either an Arches NP one or a Joshua Tree one (i‘ll post those a little later) but for now, i’m happy with the way this one turned out and I like that every time I look over at it i’m reminded of the way I felt when I first saw this park- like I was on another planet, a whole otherworldly experience of pure wonder.
There’s a fair number of National Parks i’ve visited at this point now and even more that I plan to visit soon.. but I think Canyonlands NP in Utah will forever remain in my top 3 favorites. I visited last October and there are still days where i’ll be at work or getting ready for bed and some memory of it will flash across my mind and i’ll want to drop everything to go visit again now, soon. This is where the inspiration for this piece came from, the memory of my visit and the photos I took there.
I want to say I started this in…mmm….middle of March?And it was meant to be a weekend project but then that didn’t quite happen and now it’s July and i’m still not done with it. Which i’d love to say isn’t what usually happens but that would be a terrible lie. To be fair to myself though, I generally only get to work on any art projects of mine every other weekend or so and by “weekend” I mean about 4 hours on either Saturday or Sunday after I chugged my iced coffee and am feeling productive.
Faber-Castel PITT artist pens
Prismacolor colored pencils (currently debating on splurging for some Faber-Castel colored pencils but haven’t decided if i’m feeling that artistic just yet)
I’d very much like to finish this one up soon so I can start on another that i’ve in mind- this time from a photograph that I took in Arches, but we’ll see how that actually goes. For now i’m just hoping the weather keeps giving me sun filled weekends and the bf keeps making me excellent iced coffees.
p.s Don’t mind the fantastically low quality of this iPhone photo, I just didn’t feel this work in progress was worth hauling out the actual camera for, not yet.
Of all the places I enjoy traveling to in the USA, from the big cities that burst with life (San Francisco, NYC, Boston) to sleepy coastal villages (Mendocino, Ft. Bragg, Augusta) and all of everything in between, anywhere that has magnificent mountains will always take 1st place with me.
Last year was a drought year when it came to art, and this piece was the only landscape one I worked on the whole time- started it sometime after coming back from the March road trip, lost inspiration and picked it back up at the end of June after the trip to Big Bend Natl. park and then didn’t look at it again until after the last road trip in October to give it some finishing touches, still unsatisfied. After unearthing it again this past weekend though- to give it one last pass through- as I re-inked some lines and brushes away colored pencil dust, i think i’m content with the way it turned out, if not how long it took to finish.
Definetly looking forward to creating more of these this year, especially with the chance to get up close and personal to some real mountains come March.
It’s strange, the ways one person can present a million different facets to the world at large. And I don’t mean that in a bad way, not at all. More so the ways we present ourselves to different people in our lives. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, this isn’t a radically new concept. Lately what I’ve been more concerned with, beyond the different ways we act with friends vs parents vs strangers, is the way we present ourselves at large vs the utterly private persona we only entrust to ourselves.
The thoughts we don’t even entertain while among friends but freely unravel in private. Questions you would never pose to your most trusted confidant that you could spend hours going over with yourself, as if in a private one on one interview.
How we operate, just for ourselves.
It’s a heady question, a cavernous drop towards things that lead to so many other questions to ask. Or maybe I spend way too much time in my own head and need to get out more. (Yeah, that’s probably pretty likely ). But still though, what would you say is the main difference- the divergent factor if you will- from the person you present to others and the person you are just for yourself?
Mountains are never far from my mind even if my wanderlust for them has faded a bit….these days I find myself dreaming about sandy beaches with palm trees swaying in a warm breeze that smells of freshly cut open coconuts and the sound of sun warmed water just a sigh away, an unending stack of books just besides me waiting to be picked up.