Richard's two most used plein air pastel boxes (top, heilman, bottom, dakota)
Plein air painters just love to share their "war stories." part of the fun of painting outdoors is the unexpected...you NEVER know what will happen. You can be tickled with delighted, frightened, or just left wondering. Here is one of Richard's stories.
It happened in Bend, Oregon, one of my favorite places to paint. Birds fascinate me. And you do know about me and my pastel box. Some people call it anal. (Richard keeps an ultra neat and organized box. See above. I totally envy it.) Well it was a day with flat light, wonderful for a painter, as there is no rush. The light doesn't change much. I was out in the wilderness painting. It was a little strange when I looked down at my box and noticed a couple of "holes" in the order. (a few sticks missing) Hmmm. Where did I put those? I kept working. I stepped back from the easel to view the painting and each time I did this I thought another stick seemed to be missing. Strange. How?
Pretty soon I am missing some of my favorite sticks (probably violets) and NOW I know I am not imagining it. I KNOW those pastels were there. I move back and stand in the trees quietly watching my easel. In moments I see a raven dive down to my box and grab another "treasure."
My first thought was, uh, oh, I hope it wasn't the cadmiums (toxic.) Then I think of the raven, his nest lined with his purloined treasure, bartering with his friends.
It's funny we go through so much effort to make out easels level and in good light. And here is this bird, stealing pastels.
I guess you never know.
If you want a treat check out Richard's website and his Pastel Pointers Blog. You will be amazed!
Also view part one and part two of his interview.