Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Donna Ridgway, plen aire painting.

We just returned from a camping trip at Spite Hill. It's a campground alongside the "Mighty Mo" as some people call the Missouri River. The river is high right now, and covers half the campground but we managed to stay high and dry.

There isn't much to this campground, one table, and one fire pit and one outdoor toilet with a broken door. Which the guys fixed..... But it was still a fun place to camp and fish and paint and observe wildlife.

The swamp was full of song birds and I got some nice photos of them singing to me. :)

A big pelican flew over the river each morning at the same time, he was kind of neat and I took photos of him. There were several deer on the hillside each day. A bear came to entertain us on the hillside to the south of us. He dug so hard he had the dirt flying. He just left the trail when a white tail doe came along. She was walking with the wind at her tail and we wondered what she would do when she got down wind of the bear and realized how close he was! It was fun to see her catch his scent and take off running. Wildlife is so interesting to see and they keep me entertained.

I did paint while we were there, and here I am (above) on my four wheeler, all set up, doing a painting of Spite Hill, which is below.
The Missouri River runs at the base of Spite Hill. I chose to leave the railroad tracks and the long line of yellow railroad cars out of my painting.

This hill has a very interesting shape. It was fun to paint it. I was using watercolor and painting on a 16X20" canvas. I loved the bright colors as we've had so many years without moisture, it was fun to see the country looking green and bright.

This hill is to the east of Spite Hill, it's mostly a ridge of rock, but it was fun to paint it.
After I painted some realistic things, I decided to paint all the fun we had at Spite Hill. I began this painting with no thought in mind except to capture the emotions of the trip.

You can see the River God, who we thanked for the fish we caught, I could show him to you in photos, he shows up very plainly. He's the mask looking thing on the side of the hill. I threw in the fish we caught, the campers and tents, the colors of the sunsets, sunrises, trees and rocks. I probably had more fun creating this painting, than I did the others. I even threw in the broken door on the toilet. And the people we met! You have to know, the people are straight marks, the campers and tents are the symbols in the orange, the rectangle in orange is the toilet door. The fish are pretty self explanatory.

There's a heart on the hill, it stands for the respect this group of people we went camping with, has for each other.

As I get some of my photos of the bear and the birds ready, I'll post them also.
Donna Ridgway