- I have a very heavy kit, so I don't go very far from my car. If I have a problem I walk the hundred yards to my car and I'm gone. If I was packing a pochade (pronounced pochade) box I might go further.
- Their are sudden gusts of high wind here so I am glad for my heavy Gloucester easel, I would surely blow down with anything less.
- I am wearing high snake proof boots. If I am walking out into the scrub, I have the piece of mind that is well worth what I paid for the boots at Cabellas. I keep my hands out of places I can't see and I look at the ground I walk on, before I walk on it.
- I carry a half gallon or so of water with me and drink all day, I make a point of consuming at least a gallon a day.
- When it is hot the paint moves real well. I am using almost no medium and the paint flows beautifully. I got a deal on some Permalba, which I am cutting half and half with flake. I don't usually buy Permalda, but that is what I could get as the Jerrys at which I stopped in Austin was out of Winsor-Newton, Gamblin, and Rembrandt, and doesn't handle Lefranc. Good thing I didn't need Gamsol, they were out of that too. At least they didn't have the riggers I wanted.
- I don't leave anything behind me. I know that sounds obvious but I have seen "artists" empty their solvent on the ground and fail to chase down a paper towel taken by the wind.
- Desert painters get great drying times, My pictures are dry every morning, even with almost no medium, although the flake is a dryer in itself. Old time house paint often had some lead in it just to aid drying.
- I sometimes use sunscreen when part of me gets overdone, but I tolerate sun well and am turning into beef jerky. Bring the spf 50
- I wear a hat with a brim, if you are sun susceptible you might need a broad brimmed hat like the Mexican cats wear.
- It hasn't rained since September so everything is as dry as tinder, therefore I don't smoke or build a fire out in the desert. Wildfires are all over Texas right now, so I don't cook.
- Camping is easy in the desert. Rain is the enemy of camping, if I know it isn't going to rain I can camp happily. Wet sleeping bags in cold weather are one of life's greatest tortures.
Friday, April 15, 2011
More notes from the desert
I think I will write a little about desert adaption for the landscape painter. The first warning is that this, like the ocean is a capricious and sometimes threatening environment. Everything here has thorns, teeth or just a lot of attitude. Temperatures in the day here are usually in the high nineties, but this is April, it is often much hotter than that. I have painted outside in 115 degree heat, and that gets real extreme.I like the heat, and it cools way off at night so sleeping is comfortable. I am getting in touch with my inner lizard. Here are some things that I have learned about desert painting. I am sure a local could add to the list, but this is what I have learned.