kristen@kristenoneillart.com

A Simple Hike

I am really amazed by some of the people and places I see on Instagram. Everyone I follow lately seems to be hiking to the top of a mountain and spending the night in a fire lookout shelter. It can make me feel inadequate. Like I have to be a super adventurous 20-something wearing really cute hiking gear. Unless I get a time machine, this is simply not happening. And that’s okay. In fact, it’s better than okay. Because I have the freedom to be me. To live the life that works for me and my family. Last week this was squeezing in a quick hike. For an hour and a half we enjoyed the Catherdral Hills trails just outside the city limits of Grants Pass. We were out in nature, enjoying ourselves, seeking beautiful vistas. We found a trail that was stroller accessible, so our toddler “hiked” while sitting. It was a great day. It was simple. But the best part was that we did it. Follow me here: Share this...

The Shortest Hike of My Life

AttendingĀ a conference in Golden, Colorado, I spent three days surrounded by other professional artists learning about our other craft: business. You get asked, “What kind of art do you make?” at a conference like this. Then you get asked another 80 times by people who haven’t met you yet. You get a lot of practice explaining what you do and why you do it. I discovered I can explain my art practice in three words. Ready? I paint hikes. This super short explanation is usually followed by longer one. What does this mean? Do you paint your hikes (yes) or someone else’s (yes, too)? Do you work from photos (almost always)? Would you like to paint on location (sure, how do I get a 2 year old to sit still that long?)? After this amazing conference was over, and I had spent several days with a gorgeous view of the mountains around Golden, I figured I better take a hike, right? (Like the art police are going to show up and get me if I go all the way to Golden and don’t hike…) I found the nearest trailhead and walked over to it late Saturday. I reached the top of the town and the middle of the mountain during that beautiful golden hour where the sun light is perfect. I started my hike. Did I mention I am terrified of snakes? Like, throw up my hands and do an awkward dance while shrieking, scared? Did I mention that I am ten times more scared of rattlesnakes than any other kind? I stopped to take a photo. I walked...