Thursday, October 04, 2012

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

Could you pick a more beautiful day to paint outside?

On the last day of the art conference, most of the participants opted to paint on location at a historic ranch about 20 miles out of town. Our gracious host allowed us to wander all over this wonderful property that has been in his family for over 100 years. I imagine it must've been a treat for him to see all the different ways everyone interpreted his ranch.

I just love stuff like this.

Scattered all around the main house were outbuildings and relics of ranch life from a different era. I am very thankful for the many modern conveniences we enjoy and especially thankful for the medical and hygienic advances we've made, but at the same time I am drawn to old places. This ranch was almost as good as a time machine.

Many people in the group spent a good part of the day taking reference photos of all of the wonderful buildings and old farm equipment.

There was a beautiful river that flowed through the property and many of the artists decided to paint on the bridge or along the banks of the river. The cottonwoods were stunning in their fall colors.

Looking down at a group of plein air painters (center of photo) from the steep dirt road that led to the ranch in the river bottoms.

Because the dry conditions were not favorable to acrylic painting again, a lot of people brought their oil paints and some, myself included, worked in watercolor instead.

Watercolor sketch of a dead cottonwood tree.

The Wind River area is known for great trout fishing. This seemed like a beautiful spot to cast in. It certainly was a beautiful spot to sketch in.

What a wonderful day this was. I felt a little sad to leave, but since I had 10 miles of dirt road to drive before even reaching the main road back to town, I left a little early so that I would have time to wash off the dust before dinner. However, if I had waited just a little while longer before I left, I could've seen a herd of Rocky Mountain big horn sheep come through! That's the wonderful thing about painting on location - you never know what you'll see.

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