I found Molly Hashimoto’s luscious book in one of the national park bookstores I browsed on our road trip across the country. It was a great companion as we toured the Southwest, even though I did no painting or sketching – just hiking and exploring.
Molly Hashimoto had an epiphany that led to her artistic vision after encountering the work of Thomas Moran:
“This rendezvous with Moran compelled me to reconsider what it meant to be an artist – how to work, where ideas are generated, the purpose of art. I felt that I, too, had to create work in the field, to keep sketchbooks and journals to record my own experiences in the outdoors. Of course, I had a few doubts. After all, this awakening occurred in what I then felt was middle age, and I wondered if it wasn’t just a little late to be undertaking this new project. But enthusiasm won the day. And now I always tell my students it is never too late to start keeping sketchbooks.”
I love Molly’s instructions for palettes of different landscapes:
Clear: Use a very weak phthalo blue red shade. The zenith may be a redder, more intense blue, so try adding carbazole violet or cobalt blue to that part of the sky.
Dawn and sunset: Permanent alizarin crimson, hansa yellow, pyrrol orange, perylene red, carbazole violet, phthalo blue red shade, indanthrone blue and quinacridone burnt orange are all colors that may capture the varied shades seen at these hours.
Sea Stacks and Rocks:
Dark rocks seen in silhouette: Use phthalo blue red shade mixed with quinacridone burnt orange and carbazole violet. Or try ultramarine blue plus quinacridone burnt orange plus carbazole violet.
Molly includes color instructions for trees and forests, rivers, creeks, tarns, and lakes, glaciers and snowfields, cliffs and rocks, summer coastal prairies and meadows, sand, ocean water, and autumn hues.
Do you have a favorite national park? Do you keep a nature journal or sketchbook, or do you paint what you encounter in nature?
Writer, blogger at Books Can Save a Life, about the healing and enriching power of books. At work on a memoir about growing up with a mother who is mentally ill. A former book editor and medical librarian, my work has been published in Great Lakes Review, Library Journal, and other publications.
View all posts by Valorie Grace Hallinan