The big, month long trip to the Yukon is looming ever closer. September first, bright and early is our departure. Myself, the Bearded Dude, Luke, Coltrane and Hi-Yo Silver (our Kia Soul) with a full roof rack and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles of windy and open road. Miles. It's hot here in Edmonton today, summer has returned (DAMMIT!!) so I checked quickly to see what the weather is like in Whitehorse for the next week or so. They are expecting snow on Saturday. The daytime temps creep to the low-to-mid teens and dip to zero at night. Perfect! We plan to camp most of the time, except for our stay in Whitehorse, where we get the luxury of a guest cabin. But mostly it'll be us and the elements. We are so excited! Neither of us has been to the Yukon, so it's a brand new adventure for our entire little family unit.
Like most trips I take, there really is no creative 'time-off' as it were. This is by choice. On trips there is more 'play' time, more experimentation and just putting things in my sketchbook; notes on the cool things I/we saw, the delicious beer I/we drank and the delicious food I/we ate. I've always just packed a watercolor sketchbook, some waterproof black pens, four of my favorite brushes, my small set of pan watercolors, and my little water reservoir. It's all very compact and fits in the bottom pocket of my orange day pack with ease. It's fits under the seat in front of me in the airplane and it goes with me everywhere I do when I'm out wandering in new places. But this time we aren't traveling by plane, and my studio needn't be so compact. So I am using this upcoming adventure as the excuse to try a medium I've wanted to for a long time, but haven't yet. My excuse is that I can paint outside since we're camping and have much more time to stop and soak in the landscape or small towns we visit. My other excuse is that it's time to try a new medium. Why not? I bought twelve 9x12 masonite panels for making 'oil sketches' during our trip. I also have a lovely wooden box for keeping the wet sketches in, so they don't smudge. It's something new to think about. It can take between 3 days and 3 months for an oil painting to dry, depending on the size of the piece and the thickness of the paint. Goodness!
Yea, I'm a bit nervous. I was putting the finishing touches on 2 commissions last night, and was suddenly struck by the thought of not adding textured or patterned paper to the oil sketches. Then I began worrying that these oil sketches will be boring, because it'll just be a painting; no bits of paper, no quirky ink details added near the end. No ink spatter. None of my usual tricks. No comfort zone, besides my ability to draw and be inspired by the things I see. The BD laughed when I came home with my small horde of new supplies. I guess I told him I was going to buy 'a few colors'. Nineteen is a few compared to the vast array of colors hanging in the multiple display cases at the art store. This is actually only a few!!
So tonight I begin gesso-ing the masonite panels, to prep them for painting. Then I thought for a trial run, I might make a trip out to the Devonian gardens and have a painting day, especially since I seem to be on a real garden painting kick lately.
These sketches will be for sale (if they aren't terrible!). They will be $150 each (plus tax and shipping) and will need to be framed as the masonite panels are not cradled. I'm not sure how I'm going to post them as I complete them, because I'm not sure how much Wi-Fi access there will be in the Yukon. I've toyed with the idea of starting an Etsy shop for things like this, along with my watercolor drawings. I like the business format I've observed from some people I know that do sell what they make on Etsy. Plus, I LOVE sending mail. It could be a win/win, really. Well, stay tuned for my foray into the land of oil painting. Wish me luck!