In December I was accepted into the co-op Sierra Artists Gallery, located in Mariposa. Casto’s Wine Bar and Fine Art, in Mariposa, has also accepted my work.
Last December I was asked to demonstrate pastel painting at Yosemite High School in Oakhurst. I had painted this scene previously so I chose to paint it again so that I’d feel comfortable. I’m just getting around to finishing the painting.
‘Sierra Nevada Foothills at Dusk’ 9×12 Pastel on Art Spectrum paper.
On November 13 I participated in the Williams Gallery West monthly Art Hop. The picture below shows how far I completed the painting that day. Today I’ll work on this painting. Pastel, 13×19, half sheet Art Spectrum, a warm brown color.
Art Hop progress, November 13, 2011
January 31, 2011, afternoon.
January 30, 2011, evening. Now it needs the finishing touches.
Yesterday, January 27, David and I braved the heavy fog of the San Joaquin Valley to visit the Merced National Wildlife Refuge. We had both seen a post in photographer Michael Frye’s blog about this preserve and felt we had to see this special place ourselves. This is a wetland preserve where migrating birds visit or spend the winter. The entire day was foggy. Around 1pm the fog lifted from the ground but never dissipated enough to find where the sun might be located. The ‘auto tour’ road weaves and winds along water ways with so many twists and turns that I couldn’t have told you the direction of North to save my life. When we returned to the beginning of the circular route I felt we approached from the wrong side and couldn’t for the life of me figure out how we got to where we ended. I need to see a map!
We arrived at the wildlife refuge at 6:45am and left at 4:45pm. When we entered the preserve in the dark thick fog, our headlights lit up bunnies scampering along the road. There must have been 3 dozen little bunnies between the gate and the first quarter mile inside the preserve. We saw a couple of owls in the predawn light and then began noticing all the hawks. As soon as you reach water there are birds everywhere. Coots, ducks, waders, ….I don’t know my birds but you get the picture. It was such a magical day with the fog creating such a dramatic atmosphere. I took a few pictures of birds but I don’t have the lens for birding. I’m used to shooting landscapes, not critters that constantly move. Instead I observed them, reveled in their beauty and sounds and looked them up on my iPod Audubon Birds app. There were so many varieties of birds to watch. My favorites were the Northern Pintail, White-tailed Kite, various egrets and heron, and lastly, the Lesser Sandhill Crane. Unfortunately they were at a distance and the fog never cleared enough for a good viewing. It was thrilling to see them taking flight and landing, flying overhead and listening to their calls. Occasionally they’d characteristically jump up and down as if filled with pure joy. I certainly was while watching them.
The temperature was 41-43 degrees with a very wet fog and breeze. The dampness and breeze made made the temperature feel more like 33 leaving my gloved fingers stinging with cold.
11am This stretch was one of my favorites for composing scenes with trees in fog.
2pm Look! A very exotic bird in the crouching position.
3:15pm ‘Four Water Fleas on a Day Trip’ The reeds were so much fun to photograph since the water was mirroring the reflections with such crispness. We saw all sorts of wild shapes and figures that made us laugh.
5:40pm We rose above the fog as we left Cathys Valley on Highway 140. We were treated to a spectacular sunset on an ocean of fog. This was the only sunshine we saw all day.
We are having our January spring-like weather here in the Sierra Nevada foothills. It seems we usually have a week or so of warm weather this time of year and then we slip back into winter. The hibernating ladybugs are very active during the warm weather. A couple days ago my husband and I spent an afternoon photographing the ladybugs and the river behind our house. It always feels so cleansing to get outside after being indoors so much during the middle of winter.
Ladybugs on a small oak tree.
Ladybugs in the cracks of Ponderosa Pine bark.
David photographing along the river.
My self portrait
Lacey catkins. Looks like spring isn’t very far away.
The motion of the river. I had fun playing with my camera at this spot of the river.
My husband has launched a website! You may visit his site here: http://www.dhoffmanphotography.com/ If you find any bugs or broken links please let him know so he can fix them. We both went over the site with a fine tooth comb but we could have missed an error.
Obviously I haven’t been diligent with my blog keeping. Below is a pastel I started in December. This is painted on a pastel board. I have lots of ideas for new paintings but I’m learning to knit so that’s taken my attention away from painting….and I’ve been lazy. It’s a new year, time to pick up the slack!