Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Fun Filled Friday 8-12

It was a good Friday. It started with the YWA painting group which is always something to look forward to. Our scheduled model didn't show but we got lucky when one of our fellow painters and friend Mary Jane Brewster agreed to be the model.

This first sketch shows how I often do a lay in with pastels. Usually starting with some kind of background color. Not always the one that is there. This one happened to be pink and it suited her. Sometimes I leave it white but that can be pretty hard to keep clean with pastels. Having a color there makes it easier to start blocking light shapes in at the same time as the darks.

Mary Jane and I have painted together many times. She even did a painting of me that is in my profile picks. This is the first time I've had the pleasure of painting her. This isn't a great likeness of her but I like to think I captured her determined spirit and strength. She is really one of the most remarkable woman I've ever known. Lucky to be able to call her a good friend.

Five of us were out to lunch after the painting session when Nancy Robbins called to see if anyone wanted to go with her on a hike to see the Indian Arch Rock at sunset in Yosemite. I wasn't sure hiking the 3 miles back out at night was in me but I'd never been there. Fortunately I had my day pack, head lamp, and hiking shoes in my car.  After getting the affirmative from my painting pals that such a hike was a bit crazy I decided I'm just crazy enough to enjoy this.

So I met Nancy at Wawona and she drove us all the way to Porcupine Flat by way of the Tioga road.  It was one of those spur of the moment adventures that makes life exciting.  Nancy is an accomplished photographer and I know I'm going to get some great picks when I go hiking with her.

Of course keeping up with her is another matter altogether.  Even with her bad wrist, shoulder, and a heavy pack full of camera gear she leaves me winded trying to keep up.

It was a bit of a race with the sun to try and get there with the moon just rising and good light.  Nancy was already at the Indian Arch when I stopped for a breather and looked back in surprise to see Half Dome glowing across the valley.

With the sun quickly setting I had to pick up my pace if  I was going to see the arch by sunset. As you can see from these shots It was well worth it.  The light was changing fast and I don't know where the colorful clouds came from but I was one happy hiker to see them. I was up the back side of the Arch just in time to catch these amazing sunset clouds.
After climbing up on a huge boulder I was able to get this shot of a Ponderosa pine framed by the arch.

I didn't want to leave but it was getting dark and the hill down was quite slippery with small gravel acting like ball bearings on hard granite.

It was a long walk back with our head lamps on but we took it nice and leisurely.  It was a hike I hope to do again. I'm lucky to have such wonderful inspiring friends.

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