As always, I take along my art traveling gear. Some years it has stayed closed for the entire trip, but this year I vowed to paint every day. Here is the first painting done at Whiskey Creek Campground day 1.
|Whiskey Creek, 11 x 14, Watercolor|
As for wildlife, we were warned that it was a big bear year, meaning a lot had been in or near campsites over the summer. Each night we would haul all our coolers and dry boxes into the "bear cage"--a small space surrounded by a battery powered electric fence. However, we never saw a bear or even bear scat. We did see a variety of birds: herons, kingfishers, egrets, bald eagles, and turkey vultures. We saw and heard many small birds as well. The blue jays were especially vocal. Along the river shore we spotted one mink and several otters.
Day 3 we camped at a new spot for us. It is known as the "Eagle's Nest" because many years ago several retired WWII high ranking military men had a cabin (now gone) where they gathered on the Rogue in the summer. What's left are very steep stairs leading up to the remnants of a stone chimney. The gem of this spot is East Creek, a beautiful, winding stream offering cool sitting areas and fabulous scenery.
East Creek's painting started out poorly. The paper I pulled out was not a good surface. I started a painting that immediately turned muddy and was way too detailed. What was I thinking! I dipped the whole piece into the creek, rubbed off the paint and flipped it over. I sat in the camp chair, feet in the water, and began to channel shape painters I greatly admire like Frank Webb and Ratindra Das. What were the shapes? How could I simplify this scene?
|East Creek, 14 x 11, Watercolor and Ink|
That night, all of us slept on a small river bar, sleeping pads only, no tents. It also meant we didn't have to haul all our coolers and boxes--a bear would have had to step over us to get to the rafts! The next morning Mike climbed up to the "Eagle's Nest" to get this great picture of our rafts.
And, yes, I was on the trip with my hair reverting to the dandelion locks of my towhead, toddler years.
|Tacoma Camp, 11 x 14, Watercolor|