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Old 03-08-2016, 06:41 PM
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manfrommerriam manfrommerriam is offline
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

Robyn: Glad you are able to get out. I have not done any PA work so far in '16. I was out last night photographing local scenery for possible studio work. We finally had some rain today and thats a change. So impressed with the John Richeson Hardboards I bought a half dozen 12x16s today and will use up my watercolor grounds putting two coats of the Daniel Smith ground on them. I still have a bit of the QOR as well and I bought a 16x20 panel I'll try that on.
I've discovered the neighbors across the street also have some sort of inflatable kayack. Not artists but still perhaps we can get some sort of cooperative outting going.

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Last edited by manfrommerriam : 03-08-2016 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 03-10-2016, 07:43 AM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

Glad you like the Richeson boards. Are they lightweight enough to be your on the water solution?

You are fortunate to find out your neighbors have a similar kayak. They can clue you in on good spots to practice getting your oars in. Fun to have outings together, too.

It looks like we are going to have a week of rain but I need to get in another PA session or two. Next week I am meeting up with the Outdoor Painters again. Will probably pack both oils and watercolors and see which paints I like on site.
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Old 03-10-2016, 08:20 PM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

Robyn: The OPS is a great group and I'm unfortunate in that I live so far from Dallas. I have done PA in the rain... with watercolors I sit in the car. With oils the fumes have driven me to try painting in the rain... but I found that oil paint does not adhere to a wet surface. Possibly acrylics would be best?

I'm currently coating the 12x16 Richeson hardboards with the Daniel Smith ground. I lightly sandpaper the board on one side then give that a coat of ground... and let it sit 24 hours. then on goes another coat at right angles to the first. After a couple of more days I pack them up with Saran Wrap to protect the surface. The Richeson boards are not warping and being 3mm they are lighter than 1/4", (6mm) Masonite or 6mm craft plywood.

Art barge news... wet again. Light breeze had some effect but I was out around 45 minutes. Geese and ducks NOT amused. I grew tired and can see I'll have to work on my upper body strength. Showed off the boat to the neighbor who was of course very impressed. He has a bad back and is not ready to go out paddling.

Truck inner tubes are surprisingly expensive. Maybe I need to use fast drying oils on a canvas sealed on both sides with something from Submarine Surplus.

Comments? Dave

Last edited by manfrommerriam : 03-10-2016 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 03-11-2016, 07:53 AM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

On the river you should have some help from the current to carry you. it could get tiring if you want to go faster than that, though.

I'm intrigued by acrylics but haven't had much luck with them so far. There are some covered picnic tables at the park that is not far that are sounding good. Kind of like at Big Bend where nothing was getting painted by me unless I could see it from a shady spot...this afternoon nothing gets painted unless I can see it from under a shelter.

Once I saw a exhibition where the artist left his panels in different streams for a period of time. The stains and patterns that were left by the minerals and flows of the different streams were strikingly varied and really beautiful. Each one was a record of a specific place and time. I really loved those works, and hadn't thought of them for a long time until picturing you in your kayak brought them to mind.
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Old 03-11-2016, 06:31 PM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

Robyn:

There is one possible river trip mentioned on the parks website that involves paddling against the current up into Santa Elena Canyon... if the flow is quite low it can be done. After about 3.5 miles there are side canyons and possible camping sites. You can see these on Google Earth.

I'm not in love with acrylics because I do not care for the smell and cleaning the brushes is a concern. However I might take acrylics along as they are opaque, dry fast and are on hand anyway. They are useful for fixing problems with watercolors.

The Daniel Smith grounds as I'm using them on the Richeson Hardboard panels have a great "linen like" texture once dry. Inviting!

When I was paddling yesterday I spoke to two ladies with ridgid, foam, SUPs. These are like wide surf boards that you stand up on and paddle along. It looks like walking on water. Almost. Maybe an inflatable one of these would haul oversized oils. Getting too complicated I'm thinking.

The Art Barge is proving to be a hassel as I like to get it very clean and dry before rolling it and storing it. With it deflated I remove the floor, towel everything dry, blow the crannies out with a shop vac and then lay it out on the living room carpet under a ceiling fan with rolled towels holding the hidden spaces open... Once quite dry I re-install the floor and roll or fold it up. Of course I'll not be doing this at Great Bend.

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Last edited by manfrommerriam : 03-11-2016 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 03-12-2016, 08:51 AM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

You are very thorough in keeping everything ship shape! Soon maybe you can dry the barge outside in the sun rather than in your living room.

There are lots of boat ramps and river access upstream from Santa Elena, could save you some paddling...but then I don't know how you get back to retrieve your car.

You make that Dan Smith ground sound inviting. I hope this means you've got a good solution for your travel panels.

I ruin brushes so quickly with acrylic, that's one big reason I don't use it much. I'm sloppy about cleaning my brushes properly. When I need to work dark to light, that's when the gouache comes out. It adds dimension and variety to watercolors.
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Old 03-12-2016, 06:14 PM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

Robyn:
Well I called it "Great Bend" but I did mean Big Bend. Blush.

In the top end of Santa Elena canyon there is a class 4 rapid. It is really a maze in a major rock-fall. On the Mexican side there is a huge pile of rocks and I believe I could portage the rapid... in fact this is why I wanted a light weight boat... however I've so little info on this and the rapid varies so much by water level that I'm not planning to try it. Currently my trip is to be a solo adventure and I'm definately ducking out on anything "iffy". Of course if I find on arrival the rapid is at that moment easy I might go for it. I have the latest printed guides but the river moves around quite a bit.

There are several outfitters in Terlingua who for $$$ will fix the access car problem.

I'm still making up panels but the weather here just now does not invite me to go out and try one of them.

I think the acrylics thing is to have a generous water tub at hand, and remember to use it often. Cheap brushes are also a good idea.

Comments? Dave

Last edited by manfrommerriam : 03-12-2016 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 03-12-2016, 06:59 PM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

Buy yourself a container of GOOP. It's great for cleaning brushes. Also, since you're gonna use acrylics.

When you're done with a brush, wipe if off, then rinse it. Wipe it again, then rinse it again. This time leave it FULL of water. That will help keep the paint from drying in the brush and ruining it. Just remember to dry it before you use it again. Hope this helps!

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Last edited by Donald_Smith : 03-12-2016 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 03-13-2016, 09:37 PM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

Donald: Thanks for the tip! That sounds like it should work.

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Old 03-14-2016, 09:23 AM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

Donald, will keep that in mind and maybe give acrylic another try sometime.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:29 PM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

Busy, busy, busy with pen & wash studio work for my current series.

I would have taken the Art Barge out but there were people grinding up the pavement here with fantastic machines and I was gonna do a PA of the crew working instead... but... they moved really fast and were past by the time I set aside the series stuff and got ready to go out.

Almost finished with preparing these panels as I'm running out of ground. Will calculate cost per panel once I see how far the ground went. Are they cheaper than Aquabords? Soon to see.

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Old 03-15-2016, 01:33 PM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

Well, the cost of the DS ground, the JR panels and taxes is running to US$ 6.93 for a finished 2-coat 12x16 inch panel. Picked up locally, there was no shipping charge.

For those that wish to know... my pint, (473 CM cubed) of the DS ground covered 1664 square inches (1.07 M) with two coats.

Calculated, with prices a bit out of date, the 12x16 inch Ampersan Aquabord is significantly more expensive. If you buy the largest, the 24x36 inch, and saw it into four 12x18 panels the Aquabord appears slightly cheaper than the DS/JR panels... but, if you must pay to have the 24x36 panels shipped in that might raise the cost well above.

I currently have a number of watercolor panels of various descriptions so it looks as if I'm ready to go from that standpoint. Lots of other bases to touch before I'm ready to paddle and paint at Big Bend N.P.

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Last edited by manfrommerriam : 03-15-2016 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 03-16-2016, 06:58 PM
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Exclamation Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

Currently working on a 24x18 inch Richeson hardboard... I'm coating it with a mixture of what I had left of both grounds and a bit, (unmeasured) of water. One of the important points with these grounds is to get them on quickly and then leave them alone to set up; unless of course you want a lot of texture.

New idea... painting while kayacking... come up with a gadget that fastens the paddle sections, (they typically come apart in two or four pieces) together in such a way that the paddles can be used as an easel. Panel mounts/supports would also be required. Benefit... you must have two paddles along but this would eliminate the tripod all together while only adding a couple of small gadgets. If a bungee cord is needed you already have them retaining the kayacking loads.

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Old 03-17-2016, 08:02 AM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

You are so inventive, I'm sure you can come up with a clever paddle easel!

So you think the DS ground is as good as Aquaboard? That's a significant finding. I have a small supply of hot press paper that I don't really care for (I like Fabriano 300 lb hot press, but was disappointed when the surface of their 140 HP was not the same.) I might experiment with using some ground to change it into faux cold press. Have also thought of using it to experiment with other base layers....acrylic gesso and medium, gelatin, and the like.
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Old 03-17-2016, 07:34 PM
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Re: Autumn in the Big Bend National Park

Robyn:
I would not say I think the ground is as good as the Aquabord. I have not painted on grounds enough to say.

Glue that 140# paper onto Richeson Hardboard panels if you want to paint on something that possibly won't buckle. I liked the surface when I did this with masonite last November for the OPS event at BBNP. Give the panel a coat of something that will seal it. Use a mixure of 1 part water and 2 parts Elmers School Glue. Have the paper pre-stretched. Put it on and roll out the bubbles with a brayer. Let it sit a day and then trim off the edges.

I'm getting ready to put a third coat of "my mixture" ground onto the 18x24 panel I'm coating now. Two did not quite result in an even white surface. Not sure how far the amount left will go but I'm hoping to do the whole thing.

Paddle-easel: I have some ideas.. involving fittings sold for splicing conduit tubing. Need to browse a hardware store.

I bought a pair of kyacking gloves this afternoon. They are fingerless gloves to protect your palms from the paddle shaft.

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