Monday, April 28, 2014

Spring Storms and Vegan Art Supplies

© 2014 R.L. Delight, Devil's Cauldron on the Northern Oregon Coast
One of my favorite ways to celebrate a birthday is spending time with my mate playing out in nature. We drove about 5 minutes up Hwy 101, parked and bushwacked on an old elk trail through neck-high Salmon Berry bushes and over-the-head Salal to reach this viewpoint. The picture isn't the best quality as I took it with my phone. One has to be very careful around this area as there are no fences and the cliffs are high. There would be a long time to scream on the way down before plunging into the sea.

There was a high surf warning out and for good reason, the waves were at least 20 feet high on this day and rather violent. I stayed off the beach during this time. To be honest, it wasn't because I was worried about staying safe. I have a lifetime of experience around the ocean, as well as a deep respect, and am very careful. I knew that there would be people not paying attention on the beaches that weekend and I just couldn't watch. Sure enough, I am still hearing stories, some frightening, and sadly, a few tragic.

We have had several stormy spring days and I was not able to get out to paint. The winds were fierce at times, with hail and torrential rain. Not a good time to be out painting. I know from personal experience how much that hail hurts and there is nowhere to hide! I spent the time doing some much needed cleaning and organizing so I can be ready for the next stretch of good weather. I have also been studying the book I mentioned in my last post. This week should be a good week to get out and paint. I can't wait!

I do get out and walk on the beach in all weather. There has been a lot of debris washed ashore from the recent storms. This is a plastic pallet, heavy and home to much sea life. The next day it was resting in one of the runoff creeks. I found a bit of rope and was able to pull it higher up the beach so that hopefully it can be picked up and disposed of rather than washing back out to sea.
© 2014 R.L. Delight, plastic debris after the storms.
There has been a lot of plastic and glass bottles, foam and plastic fishing floats, shoe soles, light bulbs from ships, and many other man-made items washed ashore. The birds have been enjoying eating the sea life that is often attached to these objects.

I have all my supplies in hand for an upcoming workshop I will be taking with Kathleen Dunphy. I am very excited about the workshop! I will be posting about it so keep an eye on this blog. The workshop is in the middle of May, which will be here soon.

I have mentioned before how much I enjoy and learn from the wonderful podcasts at Artists Helping Artists. I recently listened to an interview with the artist Iain Stewart. He mentioned a certain brand of sketchbook he likes to use. I am always looking for good sketchbooks that don't use animal products. A lot of papers for artists use gelatin to size the paper. He mentioned these sketchbooks by Stillman and Birn:
Stillman and Birn Sketchbooks, Alpha Series
Iain gave such and enthusiastic endorsement I decided to check them out. I contacted the company by email asking if they used animal products in their papers. I received an e-mail within minutes of sending my inquiry even though it was evening! Viktor from Stillman and Birns told me that I was the third request for such information and fortunately he had an immediate answer for me. He had contacted the mill and they replied that they do not use animal products in their process.

Needless to say, I ordered two new sketchbooks from Daniel Smith and they came today. It hasn't even been a whole week since I listened to that interview! The sketchbooks are well made. I got the lightest weight paper as I usually use graphite with a light wash with a Niji pen when I sketch. I will be trying them out this week if the sunny weather forecast holds true.
It is always a pleasure to be able to add a new resource to my list of vegan art supplies. I have free samples of the various weights of papers coming too.
Keeping my fingers crossed that the weather cooperates as promised. Check back soon for updates on the sketchbook and painting!

-Renee

4 comments:

Theresa said...

Thank you for the info on the animal free sketch books! Do let us know how you like them. Happy Birthday! What a wonderful little trek you two had and even with a phone camera that's a great pic!

Dana said...

Yes, happy birthday Renee! What a vivid view to punctuate your birthday memories. I'm looking forward to more paintings and reports from your workshop.

R.L. Delight said...

Thank you Theresa and Dana! I will be posting tonight as well as catching up with what my favorite blogging friends have been up to!

R.L. Delight said...

Thank you Theresa and Dana! I will be posting tonight as well as catching up with what my favorite blogging friends have been up to!

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