I spent four wonderful days at Delger Camp, a ger camp I booked through Nomadic Journeys, this last trip to Mongolia. I’d seen the camp and area a couple of times. The 2013 WildArt Mongolia Expedition stayed there on its last night out, so I knew it would be a great place to paint on location, which it was. I also took a ton of photos, including some of the sunset shown in the painting. It was a wonderfully relaxing and inspirational stay.
I had the entire area of valleys, mountains, dunes and wetlands to amble around in, stopping to paint when the fancy, and scenery, struck me. The staff was great and knowing I like Mongolian food, made khuushuur for me for lunch one day (fried mutton turnovers). They also made khorhog (real “Mongolian BBQ”) one night. Here’s a photo of it ready to cook on the stove with hot rocks in the pot. It was delicious!
And here’s one of the watercolors I did just sitting in front of my ger. I’m looking forward to going there again this year to do more!
I just returned from four great days at Delger Camp, operated in conjunction with Nomadic Journeys, and which is located at the Khogno Khan Nature Reserve, about six hours west of Ulaanbaatar. Staying in one place for awhile is very useful for getting in serious painting time. I do quick pen and ink sketches while on the road, but there’s usually not time to get out the watercolors.
Along with the paintings and sketches from this current trip, I also thought I’d share other pieces I’ve done up to now. Everything was photographed in less than optimal conditions in the apartment I have the use of, but I felt that sharing them while I’m still here would be fun and have an immediacy that would be missing if I waited until I get home in a couple of weeks.
They were done with either a Winsor Newton Cotman watercolor travel set or Yarka poured pigment watercolors and a Robert Simmons Sapphire brush. The paper is either Arches 140lb cold-pressed or a w/c paper I brought back from the Lake District in England many years ago. The pen sketches were done in a 7×5″ Pentalic Nature Sketchbook. I used a non-waterproof pen with a Koi waterbrush for the one with the tone and a .01 Sakura Micron pen for the others.
The last day of the 2014 WildArt Mongolia Expedition had finally arrived. One more night in the countryside and then back to Ulaanbaatar. The day took an unexpected turn that led to a perfect final evening….
And so ended the 2014 WildArt Mongolia Expedition. We met every goal that I had set for both habitats and endangered species. We are the only western artists now to have gone to Takhiin Tal, the first takhi release site, where we saw both takhi and khulan, and Sharga/Darvi where we saw over thirty saiga antelope. We met the scientists working to conserve these species and saw snow leopard habitat, complete with ibex. We forded flooded rivers, camped under Gobi skies, visited and hiked an important sacred mountain, attended a local naadam, stumbled upon an ambler horse race, explored a very special monastery, and painted and sketched as we went.
Now there will be a special group exhibition of paintings from the Expedition, featuring myself, Tugsoyun Sodnom and Oidoviin Magvandorj. It will be at the Union of Mongolian Artists Gallery in Ulaanbaatar from June 27 to July 8. There will be an opening reception on the 27th.
I want to say a very special “Thank You!” to Nomadic Journeys and their staff, who made the Expedition possible and contributed greatly to its success. bayarlalaa
I head back to Mongolia on May 28 for eight weeks. There will be another WildArt Mongolia Expedition, this time to the northeastern mountains and the famous steppe grasslands to try to see and photograph six species of cranes, three of them endangered and also Mongolian gazelles. So stay tuned!