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Painting Scouting

So much to tell

I used to have four vehicles.  A few weeks ago I traded in two of them and sold a third so I could buy a 2016 Jeep Rubicon.  My reasoning for the jeep was I needed to get to remote areas of wilderness to paint, and I wanted to make sure I could get back. Oh my how I love this jeep.  I immediately set to work adding an air compressor under the hood so I could air up the tires if needed. I also added some bright fog lights to the front bumper and some grab bars to the interior.  And it has satellite radio, something I’ve never had before (my next newest vehicle was a 2002).  Satellite radio is great for the variety and minimal commercials, but I think the sound quality is pretty poor.  Always trade-offs in life, right?

I think I mentioned the camera in my last post. I got a Canon 5DS off ebay for a decent price.  The resolution increase from my old 5D Mark II cameras made the purchase very worthwhile.  A couple days ago I took the camera, my travel easel and paints, and the Jeep up into the mountains just east of town to do some exploring.

Getting out and away for a few hours was really nice.  I tested out the Jeep’s 4×4 a little bit so I could familiarize myself with all the controls.  The built in axle locks area a great feature!  I went looking for an old ghost town called La Plata from the 1860’s.  I had heard there wasn’t much left of it but I wanted to see it.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find it.  I think I was close, but there are a lot of trails up in the Stillwater mountains.

I didn’t really find anything interesting to paint, either.  The entire visual experience consisted of hills with brush and rock plus many wandering cows.

On my way home the electrical system started acting up.  Warning lights were popping up on my dash and the speedometer was cutting out.  At one point the entire jeep died. It started back up eventually and I was able to drive home.  Since I had just added two electrical devices (the air compressor and fog lights), I assumed my wiring was probably to blame.  I found a relay not plugged in well, so I taped it up good and rewired everything just to be safe.  So far the jeep has been running great.

Today I finally finished up the dead coloring stage on the painting.  No more white canvas is showing – yay! I’m not sure when I’ll be able to start the next phase because work is fierce right now, but I am looking forward to making this painting come alive.

Near La Plata in Churchill County, Nevada
Cattle in the Stillwater Mountains
A means to my exploration
Dead coloring stage complete

By Cody Deegan

Cody Deegan is a life-long artist versed in drawing, painting, sculpting, and design. He studied filmmaking and character animation at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles as well as figurative oil painting at the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle.

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