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?
This time around, my post is mostly pictures from bookstore stops on our summer vacation in the Pacific Northwest.
The past few years, we’ve been more consciously immersing in nature in our travels, and I’ve been reading and writing about nature, too. Along the way, I’ve become fascinated by watercolor painting and nature journaling, though I can’t say I actually do much painting or journaling.
Very early on, I let a teacher convince me I had no talent for art, and so I’ve avoided these artistic pleasures and pursuits. I’ve since seen the light, and now I have all sorts of intentions and anticipations when it comes to making art. We’ll see.
In the meantime, my desires and my love for beautiful things are reflected in my bookstore adventures.
Many thanks to Browers Bookshop and Book ‘N’ Brush for much browsing pleasure, for great books I wouldn’t have discovered anywhere else, and for giving so much to their communities. What would we do without independent bookstores?
Here’s one more quote by Hannah Hinchman, from A Trail Through Leaves; it occurs to me that I must have been not that far away from this scene as it happened – I was in college in Appalachian Ohio in 1976:
“The girls wore plain long dresses with a sort of blazer coat, equally plain. They led me to the barn with no concern for the mud. They showed me the milk vat, half full of milk. Startling to see a whole lake of milk like that, with cat tracks on the lid of the vessel. Such an austere cold and windy gray day, spitting pellets of snow. Arriving at this farm in the deepest of Ohio agricultural land, far from the mainstream of the world, and meeting these youngsters, plain as the winter landscape, but with faces like young peaches, smooth as fresh-shelled beans, like sprouts in winter.”Hannah Hinchman’s journal, Volume 19, Ohio, 1976.
(Since I wrote this post, I found out Hannah Hinchman has another classic book, A Life in Hand: Creating the Illuminated Journal.It’s available as an e-book, but the print versions are now quite expensive. It would be great if a publisher would re-issue a print edition. Print books such as this one disappearing from the world are a loss.)
What are you reading this summer? If you’ve been traveling, where to, and have you found any bookstores to recommend?