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Oldies, but Goodies

Oldies, but Goodies: Henry Cowell State Park Series With all the New Year looking-forwardness that comes with this time of year, I thought I’d try to balance that with a bit of looking back.  I love my painting “Amongst the Redwood Sorrel.” It is one of my favorites. I have no idea why it has never sold. It’s come very close to sold a few times. Some paintings are like that. I went on a hike in April of 2008. My best friend and I were on a hiking kick where we went to the Fall Creek section of Henry Cowell Redwoods every weekend. Here we would burn some calories, shed some work stress (still had my “day job” back then), and enjoy our friendship in a beautiful place. One day the Redwood Sorrel were blooming at the same time as the Trillium. I took lots of photos, and eventually painted it while living in the Midwest. In the heart of the snowiest winter in 40 years I pulled out my paints and saved my sanity with a bit of Spring. Painting the Redwoods can have it’s challenges. The lighting is really, extremely, even. When you have tall mountains covered in very tall trees, it is all shade. With the exception of when a tree has recently fallen, then a patch of sunlight makes it all the way down the forest floor, or in the case of “Fall Creek Light” all the way to the crystal clear creek that flows through the forest. I live about an hour and half from the redwoods now. As soon as I leave...

An Open Letter on Why We Need the NEA

To Anyone Who Thinks We Should Cut the National Endowment for the Arts: Civilization and culture are what happen after someones basic needs are met. They can go forth and be the best that humanity can be, rising above “where is my next meal coming from?” When you look back on cultures throughout history what do you think of? You think of their way of life, perhaps their government, and always their art. Architecture, music, painting, sculpture, writings. We think of who they were, their culture. Not just where on the map they lived. Our culture is what we make as humans that we pass to the next generation, it is the story of who we are as a people. I am a capitalist. I believe that the best things in this life come when you have a government that lets you follow your passion. And lets you serve others to the best of your ability. That service is rewarded with money, which you then have the freedom to spend in the best way you see fit. I believe in a limited government. It should get out of my way because I have things to do. I believe in nice people and in communities that help each other. And, I’m okay if you believe I am wrong. And while all of that is true. While I am a capitalist, and lean heavily towards Libertarianism, I also believe in the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). It protects our culture. It promotes our civilization. You want to make America great again? America is already great. You want to cut the...

Enchanted Forest Trail, Applegate

I am so glad I was told the trail was a mile long and never has snow. Both of which are horribly inaccurate, but knowing that might have kept me from hiking to the top of a mountain today. We set off from the trail head at 9:30 am. The muddy beginning of the path was frozen. Have you hiked on frozen mud? Your brain gets in the way. Trust your feet. Not quite a mile in we came to sign post. Which way? We decided to go to the top. It isn’t too much further until you start hiking through the “enchanted forest.” These are some of the larger trees not logged at lower elevations in Southern Oregon. Unfortunately, there were fewer of these trees than I had hoped. But they are great. I think I saw the largest (non-Ponderosa) pine tree of my life. It was very wet out there. Luckily I had my new boots. A few times the path suddenly becomes a creek. Once the trail started to really climb the mountain, water was no longer an issue. At the first outlook I could see the ridge of the nearby mountain. Another steep mile and the views really started. The beautiful Applegate valley lay out before our eyes. The valley floor was covered in mist. Overall I recommend this trail. I hear that it is great in the spring with all the flowers. Not sure if any paintings will come out this hike, but it was sure great to get out and see more of this beautiful world.       Follow me here: Share...

Boots! And a trail buddy

The family and I took a small hike in the Cathedral Hills, outside of Grants Pass, Oregon. We decided to take the easy loop trail, “Ponderosa.” This gave me the opportunity to try out my two new items. The FitBit Alta my hubby gave me, and my new hiking boots! After a few different attempts to replace my trusty old hiking boots with cheaper ones, I finally got fed up with cheap boot issues and decided to bite the bullet. Luckily this decision corresponded nicely with a REI clearance sale. I decided to get newer version of the same boots I’ve had. My old boots I believe are from 1995, or thereabouts. You’ll notice they are ripped, chewed, rusty, painted, and a very well loved. I took them out for their first hike. According to the FitBit it was 8,500 steps. Along the trail we stepped aside to let another hiker pass. As it often happens, we started up a conversation. Turns out he is also a painter. And, we had both heard of each other. A bit of fun that was! He is also a trail volunteer and supplied my daughters with some awesome Smokey the Bear stickers in the parking lot.   Follow me here: Share this...