Terry Miura • Studio Notes

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Painting in the High Sierras: Day 4

Thanks to the exhausting painting day, I slept really well. I think there was some wind but I was completely out and it didn't bother me.

When I awoke, my head was clear but my body felt sluggish, so I decided to stay near the camp this day. In fact, I set up my easel right next to my tent and did my first painting. The cloud activity continued, casting moving shadows all over the landscape - I thought that might be an interesting challenge. And it was a challenge. It got too fussy, and it's not organized very well. It has two or three ideas competing for attention. And it lacks oomph.

No matter. I was happy to be painting atop my little hill. Speaking of hills, on the day we arrived, I pitched my tent some 80(?) feet away from the kitchen area, and a climb of about 30ft. A mere 30ft, but each time I made that climb, I was left short of breath. And I went up and down a dozen times each day to fetch this, or put away that, so I got quite a workout just going to and from my tent. That's altitude for ya.

Big clouds were brewing... threatening us with adverse weather...

Still staying near the camp, I thought perhaps I would paint our base camp. The grouping of our chairs were interesting, and they became even more interesting when Kate sat down.

She was on her break and sat for me for about an hour, so I painted quickly. The speedy brushed worked in this case, and I was pleased with the spontaneous quality of this sketch. Figures are always fun to paint from observation, but you don't often get the opportunity to do it outside of the studio setting. A natural, un-posed figure doesn't usually stay that way for more than a few minutes, so it was a big treat to paint this one.

Another view from my tent - the other direction. We are almost covered by clouds!

My last sketch of the day is a part of the kitchen. The old Coleman stove atop a bunch of rocks made a nice still life set up in defused light. Sunlight occasionally hit a few areas, causing a bright accent here and there. I painted the whole thing in diffused light, and added the little patches of sunlight at the end.

The wind was picking up...


  1. I like that painting of Kate a lot. I think you had as much fun painting the chairs as you did Kate! ;-)
    Thanks for putting so much info into your posts. Its fun to read, and your work looks great.

  2. Good paintings Terry,seems it was a lot of fun.cheers.

  3. While I really like all three paintings (and don't see the negatives you see in the first piece), the middle one is quite fabulous! I really like the Coleman stove piece as well. The last two are awesome pieces and I'd be hard put to find two paintings I like more!