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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...

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...

The Shortest Hike of My Life

Attending 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...