Monday, July 4, 2011

Bishop Workshop Continued

On the second day of our workshop, we visited the Laws Railroad Museum.  Among RR and history buffs, the narrow gauge Southern Pacific branch that served the high desert area is well known.  The museum has only one locomotive and a string of cars, but it is full of old structures, machines, steam engines, and of course the famous Laws water and oiling tanks.  There was just too much to paint.  During the day, the wind kicked up, blowing sand and debris into the air...and into paintings as well.  It was challenging.  I was pleased with the performance of my easy...I never felt it was going to blow over.  I think two of my fellow painters french easels did go over...and I know that at least one painting went into the dirt jelly side down.  I did have to close up my umbrella a couple times as a precaution.  I was intrigued by this old Ford sitting at an ancient gas pump.  It was in full shade with brightly lit buildings behind.  That was the look I wanted to capture...the car and foreground dark with brilliant sun behind.  The painting feels very unfinished to me, but I think the design worked out OK.

Laws RR Museum 1932 (?) Ford  12" x 16" oil on panel

Narrow Gauge Pulling Into Laws   Oil on 8" x 16 " panel
After lunch and when the wind had died down, I tried to capture the line of cars behind the narrow gauge locomotive.  It was almost as though the train was pulling into the Laws Depot (another wonderful relic on the museum site).  But I no sooner got set up and started a block in than it was time to quit.  It seems the Museum closes at 4PM each day, so we did our critique at about 2:30...earlier than usual.  I got caught with nothing more that this little study.  (Sorry for the lousy photo...I'll see if I can't get a better one,) This isn't much of a painting, but I've posted it just to be honest about the struggle that goes on when painting outside.  Time, light, wind and early closing all can work against you!

At the left are the water tank and oil tank for the little narrow gauge locomotive- which no longer runs.  Though they don't show well in this photo, they are well known structures to RR buffs. I love the way they are silouetted against the Eastern Sierras.  I can almost hear the whistle and the chug chug of the little locomotive.  I would love to return to Laws to paint.  The opportunities are almost endless. 

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