Friday, January 15, 2016

Hatless Hoodoos

Oil on canvas 5 x 7       $350

16 August, 2015 found me exploring Hoodoos Trail, southeast of Drumheller, Alberta, with my sister Karen Rathbun. The day was sunny and windy, and the desert landscape searingly bright. Wind and rain and frost are wearing away the softer rock and clay, leaving standing shapes protected by "hats" of harder rock.
This kind of rock formation has yielded many important discoveries of dinosaur bones from the Cretaceous period. In places the surface appeared finely crusty and granular. This layer, we learned from one of the interpretive signs along the trail, becomes very slippery when wet - we would not have been able to climb about among the hoodoos if it had recently rained!

A little off the trail, I found a scene simple enough to paint in the short time we had, with a short, mushroom-like pedestal to sit upon, tethering my umbrella (a necessary piece of equipment in the blazing sun) to the low, table-like formation in front of me. Karen sat beside me as I painted quickly. Children, followed by their moms and dads, appeared and disappeared from view among the standing shapes as several families enjoyed the weather-carved landscape.

To "watch me" as I painted, I posed a small plastic model of a Ceratopsian dinosaur that I'd bought for my grandson Samuel at the Tyrrell Museum gift shop. Identifying it as closely as I could to the genus Pentasaurus I named him Pentas, and decided to take pictures of him here, and all the way home to Ontario, to text back to Sam on my cellphone, with accounts of his adventures and discoveries. Pentas was astonished at the hoodoos, and I thoroughly enjoyed posing and picturing him getting lost among the hoodoos and then finding us again.

Dear supporters and patrons of my art,

This 5 x 8 inch original oil painting "Hatless Hoodoos" is at the "That's Empressive Gallery" in Empress, Alberta, and is available for $350. If you would like to purchase it, please e-mail Pat Donaldson or phone 403-565-0009


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