The book, Wild, by Cheryl Strayed, was a fantastic read. The author set out to hike the Pacific Crest Trail all by herself, and for an extended period of time.
I also enjoyed Elizabeth Berg’s, The Pull of the Moon. In this fictional story a middle aged woman with a nagging husband goes on an extended road trip for fun, and to teach the crank not to take her for granted.
Such a romantic notion, to go off somewhere all alone.
|Reflections, 8x10 pastel|
I recently had my own little solo adventure. Mini-adventure, anyway. I packed up paints and suitcase and drove my (still) trusty ole yellow jeep to Zion National Park for 4 days. I felt brave, daring. It felt romantic. ( ok, fine, it was only 4 short days and a days drive away, but go with me here, please). My goal was to do some hiking and painting and get some nice reference photos. There was a particular scene I wanted to find and paint in Kolob Canyon, which is the much quieter, less busy part of Zion. I hiked 10 miles the first day and got no painting whatsoever done. I did find though, finally, the very spot I’d wanted to see and photograph that evening. Glorious, and worth every bit of the long 12 hour drive to get there. ( should’ve been 9 hours but I kept stopping for photographs)
|Sunset in Kolob Canyon, 9x12 pastel|
|Taylor Creek Trail, 12x9 pastel|
The next day I drove to Arches National Park and did another 6 mile hike. I was on Primitive Loop and got a bit lost a few times. The trail is not well marked in spots and some areas had quite a bit of exposure. This added to the thrill and romance of my trip.
Still and again, I did no painting. An awful guilt sets in when I pack my paints but leave them untouched.
|Arches National Park, 9x12 pastel|
The lovely Colorado River (actually, lovely gets upgraded to breathtaking at the peak of autumn, which I was lucky enough to hit this year!) hugs I-70 for a good portion of this trip and time and again I would see THE scene I’ve so many times wanted to stop and paint. Each time though there was nowhere to pull over. How frustrating this is for an artist. I pulled over anyway one time and risked life and limb to cross the interstate to get photos. ( not romantic; just stupid- and I wont do that again.)
|Colorado River 9x12 pastel|
I spent some time in Cedar City, Palisade and Rifle and got a nice collection of reference photos from which these paintings have come.
This was a fun and enjoyable trip and I would like do a longer one sometime. I do enjoy painting trips with friends as well, and tend to get more painting done in that scenario.