Monday, October 12, 2009

Sunrise over Gravel Mountain

On our first painting day in the park, my friend Mary Bee Kaufman and I were so ambitious we took the 6AM bus from the campground at Wonder Lake to the Eilson Visitor's center. When we got there it was chilly, and still dark! Undaunted, we set up easels and started right in. By the time we were painting, the sun was making its appearance, while we tapped into the general wildness. The wind was up, good thing we had lots of layers. Mary Bee remarked that this painting was aptly of Gravel Mountain, because right after I finished it, the easel blew over and dumped the painting face down in the gravel. Just a little extra texture, more authentic that way!

Using a big rock to counteract the wind worked for a while.

Here's Mary Bee a little later in the day. Rosy cheeked and smiling!

8" x 16" oil on linen panel

To purchase, contact me at


Karen said...

Don't leave without me next year. :)
These paintings are fantastic. In this one I love the paint application that feels like it swirls around like the wind you described. The color harmony is amazing too.

I kept looking at your new set-up, with looks so very you not mind holding the palette as you work? When is Paul going to start offering them for sale?

Thanks too for posting the pictures of you and Mary Bee. They are delightful to see you 2 in action!

Carol Lambert said...

Hi Karen,
I'm so glad you like the paintings! I have so many great photos of the park, I wish I could post them all too, but then it would be a different kind of blog.

The palette isn't hard to hold because it's so balanced. Peter Van Dyck's palette was a joy to hold. This one is maybe a heavier wood, it's not quite as light, but it's not bad. When we had it bevelled and sanded properly, Paul had me load it up with the palette cup and a few paper towels on a clip, as I am using now. Then I put a small weight on the outside edge to represent the weight of the paint, and we counterbalanced with lead fishing weights. When it was balanced, it rested on my arm without tipping. It's paradoxical, but adding weight (the lead is glued to the underside) makes it easier to hold, and it feels much lighter. Also, because of its shape, the weight is carried by the whole arm, not the hand and the wrist.

Paul isn't planning to market any of these, at least not at the moment. If you wanted, I could send you a paper template of the palette, and you could get one cut out of plywood. Then you just take sandpaper to the thumb hole to get a proper bevel, sand the edges a bit, and glue on some weights.

This palette is a copy of Peter's, which he bought in Florence when he was a student at the Florence Academy. He cut his palette down a bit to fit in the box. It used to extend further to the right, above the thumb opening. But he said he didn't need that much surface, so he cut it off and glued the piece he removed to the underside for a counterweight.