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Old 12-01-2015, 07:36 PM
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manfrommerriam manfrommerriam is offline
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Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

Way down there in south west Texas. I was on an outing with about 60 members of the Outdoor Painters Society. The place is so big that only at dinner did I ever see more than 2 other painters. One of which was the Wet Canvas artist "Cedarita" and her husband. Anyhow... Too much art to show it all... I was trying out ideas for watercolors on panels hoping to find a way to avoid buckling when far from a hair drier. I used several approaches. Anyhow, this is "Santa Elena canyon, III"... on a 16x20 inch (41x51CM) panel made by glueing a 140CP (not) watercolor paper to masonite.

Here is "Sierra Del Carmens" a mixed media thing... watercolors, pens, markers and acrylics on 12x16 inch (30.5x41CM) Ampensand Claybord.

Then I did "Luna's Jacal" with Micron pens on Langton 140 CP (not) on 12x16 (30.5x41CM) watercolor paper. I anticipated making this a pen & wash thing but have not and probably won't.

This is on a tough dirt road and was the home of a man who reportedly lived to be 108 after raising a family in this hut.
Then I did "Boquillas canyon". It is on a 12x16 inch (30.5x41CM) Ampersand Claybord Textured. I had to wade in the Reo Grand up to my knees. Here is the set up... note the back pack. It had to be used for almost all the art I did in Big Bend.

and the painting

And here is "Santa Elena Canyon... from the boat ramp trail" on a 12x16inch (30.5X41CM) Ampersand Aquabord. Watercolors and a bit of scratching.

When I left Big Bend I looked in on Palo Duro State park but did not paint there. I spent several days researching another art project around Hays, Kansas before getting home just in time for Thanksgiving. Here is a piece from Kansas "Hargrave" on 12x12 inch (30.5x30.5CM) Arches 140 CP (not) taped onto a sheet of plexiglass.


So... 3,367 miles (5,419KM) driving, 12 nights in motels and I brought home 18 pieces having given one to a park ranger and his wife.

As for Big Bend N.P.: I'd go back. I really would love to go back there! A Fantastic place to paint.

As for the panels... paper on masonite is cheapest but takes a lot of time to make up. paper on wood panels worked well also but is bit more costly. The various bought Ampersand panels were the most costly and their clay surfaces could be either a benefit or a barrier.

So, have fun, I sure am. Comments welcome.

Dave
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Old 12-03-2015, 02:15 AM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

What a trip Dave, fantastic scenery. I like the last two most.

Doug
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Old 12-04-2015, 12:59 AM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

I Love all these paintings! So fresh, so clean, and so well composed. The scenes that show a sense of great depth are especially nice, but I do like them all. they seem so exciting.
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Old 12-05-2015, 08:38 AM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

Dave, it's a treat to see some of your finished work! I really appreciate you style even more now that I have seen your paintings in the flesh. If was a pleasure to meet and talk with you.

Of this set, I like the second one you posted the best, but they are all evoke the space and character of Big Bend wonderfully. Except the one that is of Kansas, of course.
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Old 12-05-2015, 09:32 AM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

Big Bend NP is one of my favorite places, though I've been there only once. Really like the work you came back with, especially the one of Santa Elena Canyon, from the boat ramp.
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Old 12-07-2015, 11:48 AM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

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Dave it's easy to see you enjoy the time on Big Bend .
Each of the paintings represent a wide open..
Never been that place, looks worth to go for.

The most creative Image is the one " Easel on the bank "

Thank´s for showing up

Cheers W.P.
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Old 01-29-2016, 09:59 PM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

Crazy but... I'm thinking of getting a boat*, learning how to use it and then plein-air painting/sketching along the Rio Grande river in those spectacular narrow canyons I saw... but could not reach by foot. A return to Big Bend! Camping and painting on the border.

Having fun soon! Comments? Dave

*actually I just ordered one. Wooo Hu! And a life jacket.
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Old 01-30-2016, 09:07 AM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

you already know where the boat ramps are! The boat will give you access to some great views and a different perspective.

When you go back, farther upstream and adjoining Big Bend is a huge state park. Not quite as spectacular as Big Bend, but still very scenic and there are some unique geological formations. Worth visiting if you have the time.
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Old 01-30-2016, 09:24 PM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

Robyn:
As you know afoot you can only see a tiny part of the canyons of the river.

Because of my intended repeatedly painting for hours at a time I do not see it likely I can coordinate with a conventional river floating group. I'll have to go it solo.

I have the BBNP river guide books and have read them fully. Currently I'm thinking of a trip from Santa Elena boat ramp, (painting above) to LaLinda take-out. Because of a few rapids of class 3 to 4 I have to have a light boat I can solo portage, (carry past rapids). It has to be safe and unlikely to tip over or flood. It also has to be large enough to carry multi-day camping and painting outfits and a lot of drinking water. I've identified one. My next effort will be to learn to use the thing; One effort in that line will be to take a Kayacking course in Colorado this summer. Of course I'll get the boat wet here in lakes and do some group events in local rivers. Once I'm confident I'll start planning a return to Big Bend! November? February? Then... I'll sell the boat to recover some of my investment.

Well.... it's a plan. Comments? Dave
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Old 01-31-2016, 04:13 AM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

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manfrommerriam a cool plan !

I do have the same painting - floating idea , put on a DIY pontoon.A ride from the central Alpine river Mur to river Danube down to the coastline of the Black sea a 14 day ride , 2.800 km and passing 11 European countries.
The plan with a ride Kajak i dropped down , because of painting gear space left. In the early 60 ties one Austrian guy did´t this with a Felt Kajak i he talks to me this is not a easy ride and a pontoon is much comfortable for floating , to pass a rapid or a dam it´s different and there's my trouble on the first 800 km . Dam 15 of them slip out slip in.. .
The second Idea a recycle DIY Pontoon , which i can take on the end in small recycle pieces , take my paintings + gear , fly back.
Third how to get money for that crazy trip , i made a Sponsoring concept for the national tourists boards a art program for the Austrian cultural board and tie down local Tv -Radio Stations each of the 11 Countries .
The Concept is still in progress and i'm already finishing all the technical issues now seeing foreword to get sponsoring on the run.. if 2/3 of my Trip Bank Account is filled i start.

Cheers W.P.
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Old 01-31-2016, 08:31 AM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

Dave, what an exciting plan! It will be a real exercise in packing light. When you take everything to Colorado favor practice, will you also paint while there?

For the river, it seems like any season except summer would be best. A photographer friend always says that winter is the best time in Big Bend. Myself, I'd go for the moderate temperatures of Nov. and Feb.

I have heard that the river levels can fluctuate a lot and sometimes there is not much water in it. But you have done your homework and probably know if that is true or not!

White Pen, floating all the way down the Danube sounds like a dream trip! You are a great improviser and your Self-made pontoon boat plans are so impressive.
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Old 01-31-2016, 02:30 PM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

W.P.: Fantastic trip. You will need a light weight boat for the portages and a life jacket. I wish you a good voyage and hope to see some of the art you create.

Robyn: The bookstore at Panther Junction has several good paddling guide books and sold them to me by mail. Down by the river it gets hot, (100F+) and it can be rainy in the summer. Yes, the Rio Grande river level fluxuates a great deal and that has to be planned for. It is possible that once my trip dates arrive the paddling will be either impossible due to very low water or very dangerous due to high water. In either of those events I'll either go and find something to paint anyway, (there is a lot) or go down to Texas with the boat at a subsequent date.

I have chosen a medium size inflatable kayack that only weighs 38 pounds, (17.25 KG) empty. It is rated for class IV, (that's fairly violent but short rapids) and could carry two with some cargo. With just myself in it a very safe cargo would be a bit more than 200 pounds, (91 KG). I think that's plenty for camping and painting. The fresh water I'll need will be the largest burden.

The boat is supposed to arrive here tuesday evening... I'm getting excited. I bought a guide book to paddling in Kansas and have plans to try the boat out when the weather warms up a bit.

Comments? Dave
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:01 AM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

i hope you have so much fun that you decide to keep your boat! An inflatable kayak is something I've never heard of before. Lightweight and easy to store, what a good idea.
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Old 02-02-2016, 07:27 PM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

Whoo Hu! My new and exciting "Art Yacht" has arrived.

Actually there are two cartons. The one shown contains the actual boat and a few accessories and the other carton brought the paddles, seats, air pump, instruction booklet and a few accessories I ordered.

Getting set for something different in my plein-air activities here.

Comments? Dave
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Old 02-03-2016, 08:50 AM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

Lewis and Clark would be green with envy! Seriously, that is so compact. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures and seeing your paintings.
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