Here I've been, in the studio, seeing what emerges from my Copper Mountain ideas and inner imagery, my drawings and photos, and the emotions I experienced in my Alaska residency. I find it surprising how all over the place they are, and, well, interesting, too... but then I would, wouldn't I?
I've been trying to figure out how to deal with deeply staining and glossy paints... colors like phthalo turquoise, quinacridone burnt orange, and others that I haven't used much before in acrylic form. I want to layer them, but they don't layer well. They kill whatever colors I have painted under them and then there's that glossy sheen, which I hate. So, much mixing with white and other colors and experimenting has been going on here. I'm learning the best way to use them for my purposes.
I'm making lots of studies, but I also have a dozen or more big paintings started, waiting for me to figure out what the heck I'm doing. Here are some of the studies painted in my latest Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook, my treasured portable studio and lifeline:
I love the verdigris aspect of copper and go back and forth with it in my rendering of mountain shapes.
As I posted last time, I note that the coppery palette now crops up everywhere I put pen, pencil, or brush to paper. I don't mean it to, but I don't mind it,either. Here's a quick warm-up pen and ink sketch made last week with cad red, phthalo turquoise, and ochre watercolors.
I purposely didn't mention the fact in my last post that there is a connection between my copper theme and Wales. Both Alaska and Wales have a long history of copper mining, but since I don't do caves and deep underground, I thought I'd never be able to personally experience that fact of Welsh history in my visits there. But NOT SO! Peter Wakelin, Welsh scholar, author, and former head of Collections at the National Museum of Wales, was also head of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. He sent me a link to this video of Parys Mountain in Anglesey. Reader, I'm going!