Saturday, August 14, 2010

Teklanika River - NFS

8/14/10 "Teklanika River", 16" x 20", Oil  NFS
This was painted the last morning of the workshop on a sand bar of the Teklankika River where the Murie Science Center Field Camp was.  We stayed in tent cabins.  This was the only clear sky day during my time in Alaska and the wind was fierce!  You can see the white spots where I used a bungy cord to keep my panel on the easel.  One thing I loved about the workshop was that David, in a completely laid back manner, defied conventional outdoor painting wisdom.  Here are two of what we called the Molleticisms:  Just put the paint on, leave it there, and don't step back to look at what you've done--don't look at your painting when doing it.  Chase the light--you can't remember what it was like before.


  1. Well! Must be interesting to spend so much time learning all this and then learn that another artist uses none of it, lol! I hope this doesn't set you back....! Wonderful painting, and I am so impressed with the size of these. I would have been so intimidated....
    Sounds like a real adventure! I love AK. have only seen it from a fishing charter though, never the interior. Glad you had/are having a great time. The wind must follow you....:)

  2. I can't say I agree with your new instructor's advice, but it seems to be working for you! Really great painting Kathryn!

  3. Kristina--the size was a little daunting, but in some ways it was easier. Strange thing, that. I remembered another thing he said that took me by surprise: "don't change anything--paint exactly what you see, in proportion. If you move things around, it distorts the light in the picture plane." That's not exactly what he said, just what I remember.

    Liz--thank you--I'm not sure I agree, either, but the things he said did knock me right out of mental complacency. I learned, for example, that "stepping back" is a habit not easily changed. But I have long thought that some of my best outdoor paintings are the ones I do scrunched up in my little camp stool, making it impossible to step back, and where the panel is in between my near and far vision, so I can't even see too clearly what I am doing, a condition which seems to put me more readily into the zone. (But these are small paintings, not 16 x 20.) Probably similar to your paintings you do in the car?? Curious what you think about that.

  4. Yes Kathryn, now that you mention it, the ones in the car when I'm all scrunched up (and of course no stepping back) have been some of my best. Hmmmmm...maybe he's on to something.