Monday, August 4, 2008

Plein Air Paint Out @ Mt Rainier National Park - August 1-2-3, 2008

This past weekend, (August 1-2-3, 2008) fourteen fellow watercolor artists joined me to take advantage of the limited opportunity to visit and paint Mount Rainier's meadows of wildflowers, which usually flourish in late July and early August. Fortunately, our scheduled dates to paint "en Plein Air" at Sunrise Visitor's Center was a good choice and the blooms were near peak for our visit. It was reported that the long winter season of 2008 with it's heavy snowfall has been trying to fool Mother Nature. And we all understood when the park ranger explains, "the plants won’t bloom until the snow melts away and the sun shines. "
The best news is that even though the bloom season for many of the flowers was delayed by the lingering snowfall most of the wildflowers were all blooming at once and creating a spectacular display for us to capture on paper! Oh, what a colorful sight to behold! Soft hues of blue and bright yellow, crisp magenta and pale lavender, creamy white and luscious greens made up the perfect wildflower palette.

Mt Rainier was playing a game of hide and seek with us as far as the weather was concerned. On Friday a blanket of thick fog that never lifted to give us a glimpse of "the mountain" from our base at Sunrise located at 6,400 ft. The day of fog was cold and wet with intermittent rain showers. I was able to take advantage of the many wildflower photo opportunities I found at the lower elevations along the drive up to Sunrise. (And I got some great photos of the trees through the fog too.)

These photos were taken on Friday, August 1, 2008 - I was the only painter in our group that made it to the mountain to paint this day. I took many photos and painted two sketches in my field sketch book.

More to come............SUSIE

Saturday, started out foggy. As seven artists gathered for a "meet and greet" we wondered if we would even get a glimpse of Mt Rainier. We could however see the glorious wildflowers on the meadow in the opposite direction. While I was painting the demo of the wildflower meadow that extended to a rugged peak, the clouds parted and the mountain in all its glory allowed us to say hello. For the next 3 hours we had off and on quick glimpses of Little Tahoma and Mt Rainier's glaciers. Our focus of the wildflower meadow yielded a handsome array of watercolor paintings.

The beauty of the snowcapped mountain known as Mt Rainier is complemented by the park's famous wildflowers that bloom in the meadows on its slopes after the snow has melted in mid-summer. We were there to paint both the mountain and the meadow's wildflowers!

Read my next post about Sunday's Plein Air Painting...


Our artist pal Joe is missing from the photo. Joe did arrived in time to see some sunshine. We accused him of bringing the waves of fog that came with a drastic drop in temperature and millions of tiny water droplets. Most of us called it a day by 4:00 pm.

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