Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Middle Falls Mc Cloud River

This will take you over to eBay
Leap of Faith

The Grand View Ranch is just a few miles from McCloud, a historic town on the east side of Mt Shasta. In 1829, a party of Hudson Bay Company trappers and explorers, led by Alexander Roderick McLeod, were the first white men to travel through the valley where McCloud now stands. George W. Scott and William Van Arsdale, founders of the McCloud River Railroad Company, established the town of McCloud. The railroad made it economically feasible to transport lumber to more populated areas. Thus began the lumber company town of McCloud.

Just outside McCloud is the McCloud River. Some boast that this river has the best fishing in America. I just discovered this river, and plan to make it part of our painting workshops this spring. It is just a short hike from the road, and I think the
McCloud river “middle falls” is the best of three waterfalls located on the river itself.

On this day, I decided that I would paint the very first effect that caught my eye, and only paint that. I believe that painting an effect is more powerful than painting a thing. What caught my eye first was the brilliant mist of the waterfall in contrast to the soft backlighting on the green moss. It gave the feeling of being by a waterfall, without painting a waterfall. Painting the mist hovering near the falls was a challenge, not because of the skill needed, but because of the concentration required. When you find a dramatic setting like this, it is tempting to paint the post- card shot, including all of the falls, part of the river, and the trees and rocks that make up the location. I had to remind myself that my intention was to capture the effect of light, and not be distracted by all the other beautiful objects of nature that begged to be included.

Choosing to be an artist is one of the hardest decisions to make, in part because of the experiences in our past when we were young. I remember when I was young and stated that I wanted to be an artist, people would laugh and say, “No, you need to have a real job.” However, to be an artist of any kind is the noblest decision that a person can make. If you choose to be an artist, you must have faith: faith in your self, in your ideas, and in your abilities. You must take leaps of faith; some that are as simple as choosing a medium, and some leaps that require you move to other communities so that you can pursue your art. You must follow your own dreams, and conquer the fears that try to stop you. As each negative thought says, “you can’t,” you must fortify yourself by asserting the truths of “I can and I will,” and set a course for a creative journey that results in the extraordinary experience of being an artist.
I hope that we can build a community of artists that can share information with each other.

If you know of any artists that might appreciate being included, let them know about this blog.
I hope to offer more painting tips as this conversation continues.

If you have questions that you would like me to answer, please don’t hesitate to email me anytime. I welcome your feedback. Stefan_Baumann@yahoo.com


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