Three Things I Learned from Copying Albert Bierstadt

Well, the copy of Albert Bierstadt’s “In the Sierras” I started for learning purposes almost a month ago is finished.  It was a valuable exercise, although not for all the reasons I’d expected, and I’d like to share some of the things I learned from it.
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The Gouache Experiment, Part 2

My copy of In the Sierras continues apace, but I’m feeling as if there’s a disconnect between the way I enjoy working, and the techniques that get the kind of results I admire so much.
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Rogan’s Gully

Sunday was glorious.  It was a perfect day for climbing, with no wind and almost no clouds in the sky.  The ice was hard but not brittle, with an occasional sound of water trickling deep within but none running down the outside of the falls.  It was a long climb for the second trip of my second season of ice climbing, with some challenging spots, but Rogan’s Gully is a rewarding route not to be overlooked.
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I’d like to share a quotation attributed to Charles Brower:

A new idea is delicate.  It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right man’s brow.

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The Gouache Experiment, Part 1

Since a trip to Evan-Thomas Creek early in December I’ve been thinking about plein-air painting in the winter.  We went there for the ice climbing, but the weather had been so cold (it was -19C/-2F that day and had dipped below -40 with windchill earlier in the week) that the ice was prohibitively hard and brittle, making Chantilly Falls seem like something much more daunting than a WI2.  We went about a third of the way before we decided we had picked the wrong day.

Most of the ice climbs in that area are above my level (this is only my second season ice climbing), but it’s easily the most scenic place I’ve gone for that particular activity. Continue reading