This morning was so glorious I had to paint the other view from Ian and V’s patio: Mt Mackenzie. I was surprised that the mountain remained a misty blue grey during the whole hour and a half that I painted this. A crow landed on the power line just as I was finishing, so it had to go in the picture. There are more power lines but I didn’t think they were needed.
Just as I finished the picture it was time to take the gondola to the Revelation Lodge at Mt Mackenzie (on the right of the mountain the way you see it in this picture) for breakfast, followed by our ride on the Pipe, or the Coaster as it’s also called. I wasn’t at all sure about the prospect – although I enjoy gentle skiing and very gentle bike riding, this sounded like a very out of control experience. For a taster, here’s the video which my son filmed with a camera strapped to his head.
We had a two hour wait after breakfast finished (you have to be up very early to be first in the queue) so I passed the time and kept calm by drawing the view of Revelstoke from the Lodge.
These are the before and after versions: the first one was drawn entirely on the spot, then version 2 had some detail added to it after I looked at the photo I took from the same position. I felt the sketch needed some extra tonal clarity: the photo brought out some detail that I hadn’t seen, but I was careful not to make the drawing too fussy and over detailed.
I calmed myself down a bit further and relaxed my eyes from squinting into the distance by drawing some of the myriad wild flowers that are in the mountains at this time of year.
These are pearly everlastings, Anaphalis margaritacea . They grow like weeds and are often regarded as weeds. They have been used as a tobacco substitute, a purgative, as a poultice for aches and pains and for healing sunburn. I added the colour the following day, using it to bring out the detail of the foreground plant. They were growing in rocks with ferns and other plants, so I might create a larger composition using the photos I took, but keeping the simplicity of the original sketch.
Then I did the Pipe.
No, that’s not me. It wasn’t at all as bad as I was expecting – you can go as fast or slow as you like, unless you’re behind someone who’s being very slow. I went slow enough to notice some more lovely wild flowers half way down the mountain. And I did enjoy the fast bits, as I felt reasonably in control.