Friday, July 16, 2010

Back in the Park

Whew, it's hot. Okay, so, soon it's got to sink in that I live in California and it's hot here in the summer. When I landed in Fresno, though, after a week of sweltering heat in the New England states, I thought that I stepped out of the airport onto the surface of the sun. But, even though it felt like a furnace blast, it wasn't muggy and nasty, the way that the heat in the Eastern states can be. I was soon winding my way back into the mountains where it was a wee bit cooler. At night, the temps drop, too - unlike the previously mentioned places.

Back to work painting.

On Monday I had errands to run - including more prints and cards with my artwork on them. I'm excited to be putting them on sale soon!

Tuesday was spent standing in the direct sun, painting the Ahwahnee Resort with the Yosemite falls in the background. It was a different view than is normally seen, I think, and I had a ton of company from lookers-on and passers-by. Most very encouraging. Sure wish that I'd brought the umbrella, though. One day I'll figure out how to attach it to my easel to make it easy to hike with.
Wednesday was a fun adventure, taking in new (to me anyway) vistas. The trail that I took was an old stagecoach road. Sometime in the distant past, rock slides covered several parts of the trail and spring run-offs washed out a few places too. The best thing about the trail, though, is that there was no one else on it! The park is crowded to full capacity in the summer - elbows to assholes, as it were. But, up there - not another soul!
The hike is listed in some of the hiking guides, yet remains one of the most solitary hikes in the park. Great for me!
I can just imagine how it would have been, riding in a stagecoach along that ridge! Scary, but mind-blowing in its rugged beauty. It might be nice to do some research and put together a historical painting of that scene; an 1880's visit to Yosemite Valley.

You may not recognize that guy in the photo ... with his hair lopped off and his new hiking gear. He looks like a walking advert for REI outfitters. I'll tell you one thing, though, those hiking clothes are a heck of a lot cooler than the schtuff I have been wearing.

As you can imagine, being an old road, the going was extremely easy (other than skuddling over the large rocks from ancient rock slides, and down into some ravines, where the road has been washed out). I don't know too many other views in the park that are this nice. I wished that I'd gotten an earlier start, as I wanted to explore. At 10:30 in the morning, though, the heat was already climbing and I knew that when I finished I would be heading back to cool off. I've never done all that well in the heat.

I managed to set up and get the work well under way before the light went past the optimum point that I was looking for. Then the view started to become washed out. I've got to learn to paint faster. Now I'm going to have to finish it from photos ... or make another hike up there. The latter doesn't sound like a bad thing -- but finishing under a fan, when I return to Maraposa for my studio days, will be quite alright, too.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Returning to California

It's been a long, hot week in New England. I spent much of it on Cape Cod. I saw more Red Sox paraphernalia than the last time I was at Fenway Park! It was good to visit my Dad, but I'm ready to return! I was only able to do two paintings the whole week, and was never able to hook onto the internet.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


I'm sittin' in the airport in Vegas awaiting my connecting flight to Chicago ... then to Providance, RI. I know, you're probably thinking that Rhode Island's not even big enough to have an airport. The Elvis on my right, a guy from Shri-Lanka, insists that it's bigger than his country and must have an airport. The other two Elvis's dissagree. One is from Russia, and the other (who insists that he was born in Memphis) has such an accent that he can be from nowhere but Liverpool, England. My suspician is that one, if not two of these guys are not the real Elvis. As for an airport in RI, Elvis 3 tells me that they issue parachutes and heave you out over your destination. It's an extra $25 per bag if you want your luggage to have a chute too.

It's going to be an interesting day, that's for sure.