It was a bit of a false start in the morning in terms of connecting with our instructor, but once that minor detail was sorted, we were off to the races. Sarah Sugarman is a Tuolumne Interp ranger in the summer and works for NatureBridge during the winter, and has been living full-time in Yosemite for about six years. She gave us a nice intro to some of the interesting tidbits of Obata’s life and art, and shared some of her favorite images with us. I liked that she was able to bring that connection with Obata to the front and center.
A few items from her talk stood out to me.
- Learning to spend some time before painting consciously determining what it was about the environment that captured my attention.
- Painting with your mind before painting with a brush and then trying to capture the scene in the fewest number of strokes possible.
- This wonderful Japanese paint set that a woman named Joy brought with her. They were more opaque than standard watercolor – something between watercolor and gouache and I loved the palette filled with beautifully creamy desaturated colors. She let us experiment, and I was immediately in love with the muted greens especially.
In this sketch, I liked how the bridge supports came out, and the white space in the water. The bottom of the waterfalls was a bit of a bust – I’m not sure you can even tell what it is, but I like my pointing blue person. The bright colors do a good job of drawing the eye to the figures which was what I wanted to focus on. I need to do more of this!