|"Chicken Run" 9"x12"|
Arriving at a new location to paint always involves a bit of scouting and figuring out what is there that will inspire the eye. After our trip to Tejon Ranch, where the main attraction is the natural beauty, I was expecting a similar treat. While also very beautiful, Rankin Ranch's main visual appeal is the fact that is indeed a working ranch, with cowboys, cows, horses...the works. And they are not there to perform for you or planted by the County Fair. They go about their business and you can watch. Always behind the fence. Cows are temperamental that way.
It is for this reason that I'm still upset about missing the cowboys as they maneuvered the cows from the corrals early in the morning the first day. We were advised to witness it but I decided to paint the chickens above instead. It is a nice painting mind you but it doesn't compare to some of the images some other lucky artists took with their cameras. My point is: if you happen to be in a ranch like this, it might be worth thinking of it not only as a place to paint but a great place to gather reference for future studio art. You've been advised. Master of the West I am not but I wish I had been a bit more adept at chasing the action.
|"Amanda Rankin, cowgirl" watercolor|
|"Poncho and the goats" 8"x10"|
|This is a working ranch, not a show|
|The main painting subject will be cows and cowboys.|
And talking about cabins, the facilities were very nice with a large community room and a dining hall festooned with "Republican of the Year" diplomas and women in Nancy Reaganesqe hairdos . You get my point, Obama is not coming to visit and a glance at an issue of "Ranch" magazine will bring that point home in a hurry. The people in the ranch couldn't have been nicer if they tried , including the very patient cowboys (even though I suspect they liked posing for pictures because they squinted into the distance with that forlorn look that is "just so" and shifted their hip balance with a bit of sass as if a movie director was at their heels).
So city folk, if you ever happen to go paint in Ranking Ranch, make sure your camera batteries are in tip top shape and may be this is time to invest in a good lens.
|Michael Obermeyer exploring the possibilites|
|Moments of beauty are unpredictable and fast|
|Early morning over the|