Thursday, December 18, 2008

December 18, 2008
More rain and even more fantastic clouds. Went for another walk with Peaches and came back and wailed on two studies. I still haven't been able to capture that subtle
crowd creep that happens as low lying clouds drape the shoulders of distant ridges:

This first one is not subtle at all, and looks like someone is pouring whipped cream over the edge of a ridge. The second one has a bit more integrity:

That's Fortification Rock in the foreground. A work in progress.

The Proof Against It
I love weather. Two of my favorite movies are "MacCabe & Mrs. Miller" and "It's A Wonderful Life." Both films have great snow. I think I read somewhere that "It's A Wonderful Life" was filmed in July in California and all that snow is fake. Doesn't matter, it makes me feel like snuggling in. And speaking of snuggling in, I got these reports in the last 24 hours:

"Public Safety Officials would like to warn travelers along Interstate 40 to expect heavy snow at times across the region east of Kingman.

"The National Weather Service has posted a Winter Storm Warning for much of the Eastern parts of Mohave County today and tonight for elevations above 3,500, this includes the areas located east of Kingman, Valentine and the Hualapai Mountains. Hualapai Mountain Road is currently closed to all non-residents."

"Bob, there is a cloud shot you might enjoy in this best photos of 2008 slide show. It’s about half way through. Kansas thunderstorm with old barn:"

—Jeff Hildebrandt, The Westerns Channel

[Enjoyed the barn photo, but really, I needed number 8, where the woman in China is diving into a hole in the ice. Two weeks ago I would have killed to have had this reference for El Kid throwing rocks into an icy creek—the subtle tone difference between the ice and the open water is so amazing—and especially where El Kid leads his horse across, wading through the freezing water.]

“Greetings from Colorado, catching our breath (after seeing it) from the
first two artic cold fronts with two more forecasted for the next week.
Certainly gives things that holiday feel . . .

“Well sir, you have had quite a 2008, with travels, one unforgettable ( but
not, thank goodness, final) drum solo, and of course, a steady flow of
beautiful and inspiring art. Some of my faves in more recent posts:

• Pat Garret in Buffalo coat
• Brothers in arms
• All the winter/snow crossing
• Nice thoughts on leaving stuff out and simplicity

“May the paint flow from your brush like bs from a politician’s mouth;
constantly and for years and years . . .A safe and happy holiday season to you and your family.”
—Ray Geier

"It's snowing here on the ground floor in Las Vegas. Linda says we have two inches in the foothills and that it has been snowing there since late this morning. My commute is really gonna suck, and may rival my all-time record (from last week) of an hour and forty minutes. Hope your washes aren't running. My son Rich says they have four feet on the ground in Tahoe."
—Charles Waters

[And speaking of the washes running, here is the email from my yoga instructor who lives across the creek from us:]

This is one of the websites we follow - it's 8 miles upstream and shows how long it will take the water to travel to Spur Cross by how many cfs are discharged. Right now there is no discharge even though it's 2.8 feet deep (that appears to be its normal baseline). Past times when the creek was really high was either 1400 or 14000 cfs - sorry I don't remember which.”

—Deborah Payne

Meanwhile, I made a list of the specific items in my commission painting that I need to nail. The first item on the list is, "Boots and Toes" and refers to the authenticity of old boots, with spur straps, etc. Did my six sketches studying old photos:

"When people say they like snow, they really mean the proof against it."
—Old Vaquero Saying

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