Watercolor Hike at Janeway with Nicolette Toussaint
Sun. August 25th, 2018
8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Free and open to the public, registration required.
Gather your watercoloring supplies and hit the trail with local artist Nicolette Toussaint and Wilderness Workshop’s naturalist guide, Brandon Jones. This experience will introduce you to Janeway, a historic mining camp and riparian area along the Crystal River, as well as offer instruction on plein air style watercoloring. We will walk only a short 0.5 mile before we set up for our creativity-filled morning. After you finish your painting, you are welcome to explore the area, look for signs of wildlife, and enjoy the great views of the Valley. Participants will also have the chance to learn about the proposed Carbondale to Crested Butte Trail and efforts to permanently protect the Crystal from dams and diversions.
Nicolette Toussaint’s watercolors and oils have been widely exhibited in the Roaring Fork Valley, including at Carbondale’s Third Street Center, the Aspen Chapel Gallery, the Snowmass Chapel, the Carbondale and Basalt Libraries and the R2 Gallery of Carbondale Arts at the Launchpad. A Colorado native, she paints native flowers, wildlife, animals, and Rocky Mountain scenes. Nicolette was honored in March of 2018 by receiving the Meininger Award at the Rockies West National Watercolor Exhibition in Grand Junction.
- Registration is required
- No dogs allowed
- This program is appropriate for those 16 years and older who are strong hikers. Minors must be accompanied by a parent.
- Come prepared with:
- Lunch, snacks, drinking water
- Closed-toed shoes (mini Cacti are everywhere)
- Portable stool or chair
- 9×12″ or 11×14″ sketch paper (if you want to sketch first and transfer your best ideas, rather than beginning on watercolor paper).
- 9×12″ or 11×14″ #90 watercolor pad, or other watercolor paper. Canson makes a nice pad. You do need medium-heavy watercolor paper, not sketching or typing-weight paper that curls, runs and doesn’t accept watercolor paint well. I like to paint on Arches paper (the top watercolor paper), which is available at art stores in several weighs and finishes of various roughness. Which of those you pick is a matter of personal preference. For plein air painting, I like to cut an 18×24″ sheet of Arches paper in half at home, then tape it to a piece of foam-core board using masking or artist’s tape.
- Foam-core board – a piece of foam core, at least 2″ larger than the size you want to paint, makes a great field palette. It’s light to carry and keeps the paper from blowing, bending or curling. I have the edges of my foam-core board covered with tape so it doesn’t flake and litter synthetic snow on me and the outdoors.
- White synthetic eraser – Mars Staetler, or any brand. They’re cheap and don’t leave a pink mark like Pink Pearl. They lift more than a kneaded eraser.
- Pencils – 2H for detail, and 2B to get the darks and quick information. Anything else you like, but those two will do it. Automatic pencils are great, but the lead tends to break on me and whichever one I bring seems to stop working.
- Pencil sharpener – If you’re going to use it indoors too, it needs a container to catch the shavings. If it’s only for plein air, don’t worry about that. Wood shavings are easily biodegradable.
- Watercolor pencils – I like to sketch directly on my watercolor paper using watercolor pencils, which will eventually disappear into the painting, unlike regular pencil. If you want to try this, you only need 8 pencils: warm red, cool red (dark), warm yellow or ochre, lemon yellow, dark cool blue, warm blue, purple, and a dark green. (My field kit has both lead pencils and a basic selection of watercolor pencils.)
- Water container with a top plus, optionally, a small spray bottle. (You may not be right by a river and you need to move water to where you’re working.)
- A portable watercolor kit. There are many options out there, but buy one that’s meant for artists rather than for children. Cotman and Van Gogh stay nicely intense with water, have nice clear colors and are not too pricey. Daniel Smith is the top-of-the-line brand the pros use, but it’s expensive and probably not worth the cost if you’re just starting out. We do have stores selling watercolor kits and paper in the Roaring Fork Valley, but because the selection is limited, most local artists I know buy their supplies on line. Cheap Joe’s and Blick are good sources; allow 10 days to 2 weeks for your order to arrive.
- Brushes – a large flat brush for wetting large areas (I have a cheap foam house painting brush for this, and it’s cheap so I don’t care if it gets lost or damaged.) You will need a large round brush (#6-#19), a small round that comes to a nice point for detail, and both a large and small flat brush (1/4″ and 1″). My favorite for working outdoors is an angular shader because I can lay in washes, shade and also use the tip to make lines.
- Camera! (Your cellphone camera will do. The light will change while you’re working, so you will need to capture the shadows. It’s also likely that you will want to finish the painting at home.)
- Odds and Ends – Salt, Q-Tips, Friskit, toothpicks, water (two bottles, if you want to drink one!), scissors or a cover Exacto knife, at least half a dozen paper towels (tear off and fold them, you don’t need a whole roll) and a roll of masking tape
This free hike is sponsored by Alpine Bank, Ute Mountaineer, The Thrift Shop of Aspen, City of Aspen, The Aspen Times, and True Nature Healing Arts.
Leader: Brandon Jones and Nicolette Toussaint
Location: Redstone, CO
Contact for further info: