This is my painting of Poutaki Hut. It was the second of six huts we stayed at on my recent Ruahine Hut Hop. The hut was built in 1983 as a recreational hut and to replace the Puketoi Musterers hut which was later burned down by 'armature poachers'. This hut is is a doomed one. Not many people go there these days and DOC has decided to only provide 'minimal maintenance' and if it falls into disrepair it will be removed. However, it was in good condition when we visited, and looks well loved by a few regulars. I can imagine it will be around for a long while yet. It was one of our favorite huts, and had a great little stove which got red hot and kept us warm. Hawkes Bay Hiking and Tramping has a blog post about this hut and the walk there which has good views of the Ruahine Range and Hawkes Bay.
I decided to do a painting of this hut. It's the first painting I have done of a hut on location. I painted on primed A4 watercolour paper. It was a good size to take as the few sheets I brought could fit in my sketchbook to stay flat, my drawing paper was much bigger and I kept it rolled in a tube. The only trouble was getting it dry to pack away after I had finished. I used water mixable oils and did not use any medium, so they were similar to acrylic and dried quickly, and I finished drying it behind the stove so it was no trouble at all.
I started painting when the sun was low behind the clouds directly in front of me, but as several hours went by the lighting changed dramatically. Sometimes I began to feel like I was trying to change my painting along with the lighting, then I realized I could go on all day like that and never catch up with those changing shadows. I learnt a lot doing this sketch, but the hut is the only part of it I'm happy with, the rest is a bit of a mess, all my messing around trying to chase the light! I should like to do more paintings of huts in the future. The original plan for The Art of a Hut project was to concentrate on drawings, and I still wish to do that, but as I have said before, I would like to add a bit of colour into it.
Last week I finished a little movie of our Ruahine hut drawing trip from the videos that Nathaniel took.