Sunday, June 24, 2007

Collector Edward Harris Purchases Country Snowfall Painting

Country snowfall watercolor painting of barn in the snow by Roland Lee

Edward Harris has been looking at my work on the internet for some time and purchased this painting "Country Snowfall" from my website while we were traveling last week. I painted it after a spring snowfall near Annabella, Utah, where my son lives. I loved the warmth of the sun falling on the fresh snow, in contrast to the rustic wood of the barn.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Travels on the Mormon Trail - Old Nauvoo & Carthage

I did this sketchbook drawing of the re-built blacksmith shop in old Nauvoo Illinois where my 4th great grandfather Orin Nelson Woodbury lived and worked. It was fun to visit the places where my pioneer ancestors lived in the 1840's.

We spent the last two days in Old Nauvoo. I had a chance to visit the location of my ancestors' property including the Francis Lee lot (photo above.) It is on the wagon ride route and his story is told as part of the tour.

Nellie and I in front of the Red brick Store where James Henry Rollins assisted Joseph Smith.The store was not named because of the color of the brick, but the red painted walls inside. I did this sketchbook drawing after the tour when I had a few minutes to study the structure. I plan on doing a painting of this building some time.

While visiting the old Seventies hall in Nauvoo I got in the spirit and pounded the pulpit a little. In the big room upstairs is a museum where they have journals listing many of the Nauvoo pioneers. They let visitors sign a register if they had pioneer ancestors there, which I did.

We visited Carthage Jail where Joseph Smith was murdered. I sketched the old stone building with its yellow stone walls. Joseph fell from the upper window after being shot several times. I had a few minutes to do a little sketching after our tour and came up with this drawing. The big tree is very old, but not old enough to have been there when Joseph was.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Travels on the Mormon Trail - Day 4

Last night we stayed at Council Bluffs Iowa with a great room overlooking the wide Missouri River. What a grand sight! We headed East across Iowa to a small place near Lorimor called Mt. Pisgah. This was a permanent settlement used as a way station for pioneers readying to cross the plains to Utah territory. I have several ancestors who lived and are buried there. In the photo above I am standing by the monument which lists my ancestor, Jacob Hess.

The farmer who owns the 1500 acre spread adjacent to the monument and graveyard took us on a wonderful tour and showed us how to "witch" for water and places where the ground had been disturbed deeper than 18 inches (amazingly, it really works!). In several years of studying and researching they have documented the locations of literally hundreds of log cabin and dugout homesites there, as well as identifying the exact locations of the trails into the settlement.

Three more hours to the east brought us to Nauvoo Illinois, where the early Saints had built a huge and lovely city overlooking the Mississippi River. The old town has been restored by the LDS Church, and tourists can visit many of the buildings. In the photo above, Nellie's first stop is the Scovill Bakery. I headed for the land office and found where some of my ancestors had owned property. Tomorrow we will visit all those sites. What a fun time we are having following the actual footsteps of our ancestors.

Orin Nelson Woodbury, my 4th great grandfather, worked in a blacksmith shop on this site. The building has now been re-constructed as it looked then.

The re-constructed Nauvoo LDS Temple sits majestically on a hill overlooking the city, appearing exactly as it did during pioneer times.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Keeping a Sketchbook on the Old Mormon Trail

Nellie and I are on a two-week tour with the Sons of Utah Pioneers historical group re-tracing the route of the pioneers on the Old Mormon Trail. The trip has special significance for me since many of my own ancestors made this journey. Their struggles are chronicled in their journals, and as I visit the places I am amazed at their perserverance and faith. I am sketching each day and will posts some of the drawings as I can. Here are a few photos of Nellie and I on the trail.

Nellie and a couple of ladies in our group tried their hand at pulling a handcart for a couple of miles into Martin's Cove in Wyoming. Already tired and the handcart is empty!

My fourth great grandma and grandpa were among those listed on this memorial to the Willie and Martin handcart company in Martin's Cove Wyoming.

Nellie and I stand at a monument to the Mormon handcart pioneers at the LDS visitors center at Winter Quarters Nebraska.

Loretta Clayson Purchases West Temple from Bridge Mountain Painting

Watercolor painting West Temple in Zion National Park from Bridge Mountain

Painting demonstration Watercolor painting West Temple in Zion National Park from Bridge Mountain

One of my good friends and artists, Loretta Clayson contacted me on the road today via email and purchased my newest painting "West Temple from Bridge Mountain." She saw the painting at my recent painting workshop in Cedar City and decided it was the one for her. Loretta and I painted together a few years ago with a small group of avid artists. We'd get together and paint in my studio for a day, each working on their own projects. It was good to see her again in my workshop, and I'm happy she got the painting.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Newest Collector, Tina Davis

Tina Davis, art collector with Roland Lee painting
Tina Davis became my newest collector today by purchasing the painting "Cool Canyon", a painting of the Fremont River in Capitol Reef National Park. Tina is an excellent artist and purchased the painting during the Southern Utah Watercolor Society workshop where I used the painting in my demonstration.

Watercolor Workshop Second Day

Roland Lee with watercolor demonstration painting at June 2007 workshop

The second day of our painting workshop in Cedar City went well today. I think all of us were exhausted by the end of the day, but we had a lot of fun. I did a quick demo of an old barn in a much looser style than I usually use. My aim was to show the impact of value contrast in watercolor painting.

Roland Lee watercolor painting workshop June 2007

The facilities at the Southern Utah University Art Department were wonderful. The lighting was good and we had lots of room to work. In the foreground of the photo above are Lynda McCulloch, the workshop organizer, and Natalie Wood, both excellent artists.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Watercor Painting Workshop for the Southern Utah Watercolor Society

Roland Lee watercolor painting workshop at SUU June 8, 2007

I enjoyed spending the day today with a group of outstanding artists. It was the first of a two-day painting workshop I am teaching for the Southern Utah Watercolor Society at Southern Utah University in Cedar City. Participating artists include: Linda McCulloch, Natalie Wood, Jennifer Alger, Geraldine Botkins, Hazel Grant, Tina Daves, Debbie Robb, Marianne Caudill, Rebecca Staley, Dorothy Uherka, Loretta Clayson, and Jennifer Stucki.

Roland Lee watercolor class
My painting class outside doing a little sketching

Fishing at Newcastle

Roland Lee catches a huge smallmouth bass at Newcastle REservoirI was pretty tired when I got to the Eves tonight after teaching my workshop. But I had renewed strength when Robert was readying his bass tracker boat as I drove up. Hmmm, maybe I could muster enough strength for a quick fishing trip to Newcastle Reservoir. I'm glad I did. The fishing was great and we had a pleasant evening on the lake. I caught the biggest bass of the day.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Cool Canyon Painting

Cool Canyon, watercolor painting of Fremont River by Roland Lee
I finished this painting today. I am enjoying painting water and I really liked how the steep canyon walls and light from the distant trees reflected in this river scene along the Fremont near Capitol Reef National Park. I'm trying to finish up a few paintings and get ready to teach a two-day workshop this Friday and Saturday for the Southern Utah Watercolor Society in Cedar City. Utah.

Watercolor Painting demonstration by Roland Lee step 2I begin the painting with a light pencil drawing on Arches Watercolor Paper. I then start with light loose glazes using warm tones.

Watercolor Painting demonstration by Roland Lee step 2 I shape the trees using negative painting to paint the darker cliffs behind the trees.