Saturday, April 28, 2012

Worlds End

in Burra Creek Gorge Reserve
Yesterday after my morning work shift and way before the evening work shift would begin, I went out with an artist friend to go paint at a place called Burra Creek Gorge.  It was about an hours drive from where I met her in Kapunda, and it was an easy drive on country roads at good speed.  Passing through towns of Eudunda, Points Pass, and Roberstown on our way.  Weather was cloudy, with a few light rain drizzle spells.  We found the gorge, which is also known as Worlds End Gorge.  There, a peaceful area awaited, with beautiful old river red gum trees of immense size and a burbling creek, with a bit of water.  It must be gorgeous when the water level is higher, as there would be nice reflections of the scene in the water then.  The gorge is a camping ground, when we we got there, there was only one party camped out.  We saw them checking a yabbie cage at the creek's edge.  We also saw a pair of hikers come by.  Other than that it was peaceful and serene, with just bird song and burbly creek sounds.

My easel, paints, backpack & the scenery
I painted a small scene on the only blank canvas I could find that morning.  But really it was more about the experience than about the result.  I am new still at painting landscapes on location, so this was a good practice.  I used my french box easel and oils, on my dinky canvas.  I have a bucket with all paint mediums and supplies, and some shallow box trays for holding tubes of paints.  I picked out colours I wanted, and took them in a bag and a short walk to the creek edge had me setting up.

Close up of
painted gum tree detail
I decided to paint a lovely old gum tree.  I have never painted gum trees before and it is amazing how many shapes and colours are found on their bark.  Believe it or not, I used a small tube of lilac paint to mix in with some sienna and umber colour plus white to make soft and subtle greys.  I had read that lilac was good for mixing complex greys, and it was  very effective.  I also had an indigo colour and thought I might not use so much of it.  But to my surprise, it was fab mixed with sap green and green gold to make bluer greens for foliage in shadows, and also for shadows in the grassy reeds in the foreground.

Later, after finishing painting, the weather got to be a bit partly sunny and the light changed, as sunshine filtered through the tree canopy.  I will definitely go back and paint again, on a sunnier day, so I can enjoy the light's effect.

This was a most peaceful way to spend the day.

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