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Friday, June 3, 2011

"The Loneliest Highway" pastel sketch

5 x 7 sketch pastel on tan paper
Driving across the State of Nevada was not all that boring, in fact, it was really quite lovely.  You can travel at the speed of 70mph, wind up and down mountain ranges, and then cut across wide expanses of desert valleys where the road stretches out in front of you as straight as an arrow as far as the eye can see.  There is hardly any cars going each way.  You are out in the middle of nowhere and you have to have a full tank of gas because there are very few towns, and not even those will have a gas station.  It is nicknamed "the loneliest highway in America" because of it. 

Because of all the rain, snow, sleet, and cool weather we had in May, the scenery was very green for a desert.  I even saw Indian Paintbrush wildflowers and patches of purple flowering ground covering plants.  The grasses in some of the valleys brought out bands of wild horses we could see from our car - even little foals at the mares' sides.  I also saw wild antelope with their calves and one had twin calves at her side. 

Although this picture doesn't show it, many of the higher range peaks still had a frosting of snow on top.  One thing that is hard to paint well is the juniper trees that cover the hills and slopes.  Many are the size of large bushes, but some get as large as an oak tree.  Because the rainfall is limited, they are naturally spaced apart so as to not compete.  Thus, the hills are "dotted" with trees.  That is hard to paint well. 

While we were driving, all I could do is a 3 x 5 sketch with a pencil.  Then when we got to our destination I did this little pastel sketch from my drawing, using my memory to paint the color scheme.

3 comments:

Euphoria said...

I tried to draw once in the car, but it was impossible, I´ve got sick... I can´t read, I can´t draw, I can´t paint. All I can do is listen to music and always look forward.
Good work, Carolyn! You have a very good memory. I wish I could visit those beautiful mountains in Nevada. Have a nice weekend!

CREATIVE MIND said...

ohh,,great,this image focus my eyes..would you believe i have seen this vision before,the same view,you can see my this photography post & you will believe may be...
the first image was same like your this art :)
amazing!!!

http://creativemind-zeshuregi.blogspot.com/2010/09/my-cell-phone-photography.html

have a nice weekend

Carolyn said...

Hi Kira and Creative Mind - yes, drawing in a moving car is hard. The scenery has to be far enough away to not be gone in a flash. Creative - I saw your blog entry - yes - that does look similar, even though miles away!