Saturday, October 29, 2011

Redstone National Park of China

Somewhere in National Geographic Magazine, I have seen the magnificent stone elephants marching across a river valley. Today I saw them with my own eyes and camera lens in the Redstone National Park of China in Danxiashan. This fascinating geographic beauty is known throughout the world. As a matter a fact, this afternoon, as I stood painting one of these "elephants", Jock Whitworth introduced himself and gave me his card. Jock, as the  head of Zion National Park, back home in Utah, and is in China on a cultural exchange of geographic national parks world wide. Small world. I told home that the artists painting in the park today are also on a cultural exchange for fine art, specifically, plein air oil painting.

The gorgeous formations, though very unique, in the park are not unlike many of the formations that we see in Utah and Arizona. We painted all day in the park, one in the morning and one in the afternoon and after dinner, we all rushed to our rooms to set up our easels and do some tweaking, most of us anyway.

After painting 16 x 20 Plein air paintings for two weeks, I have a much greater concept of why and how the great Impressionists developed their unique and history altering style. Try painting a 16 x 20 and larger and limiting your self to a maximum of 3 hours. Voila, as the French say... The birth of dots, dashes and dabs of color that capture the light. There literally is no time to even clean your brushes between color. The fastest way to capture what you are seeing is with very fast brushwork. I couldn't help myself this afternoon, my paint was thick and my brushes were flying!

Here are a few photos of us just getting started on our paintings this afternoon. 

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