Perhaps you have puzzled over the reason why I walk so much (or perhaps not. . .) I was training to walk the Lake Tahoe 1/2 Marathon, which happened on Sunday, September 27. It was hot for Tahoe, and I was all jeezled up from finally arriving at the event after months and months of ground pounding. So, I made the mistake of running the first 2 miles. The second 2 miles were steep steep steep (they call it “Hell Hill”) so I just walked. Had great energy and strength, but couldn’t figure out why my feet hurt so much. By the time I reached the top, I knew I had major blisters, and it must have been the first 2 miles that caused them. I slowed my walk – they hurt. I sped up – they hurt. I jogged – they hurt. So, it seemed the best approach was to get it over with as fast as possible. 3 hours, 7 minutes after starting, I crossed the finish line. This was a great time for me. As I pounded out the miles on my sore feet, I kept repeating to myself, “Shoes off, feet in lake. Shoes off, feet in lake.” My dear husband showed up to cheer me on for the last 1/2 mile and was surprised when I greeted him with, “Hi Honey! My dogs are barking!” He said “Walk as if you don’t hurt”, and that thought (along with “Shoes off, feet in the water”) pushed me to the finish. I didn’t carry my camera with me because I knew it would slow me down AND I knew that the mid-day light wouldn’t be very nice for photos. So, here are a few photos from a previous visit to Tahoe.The day was bright and sunny like this. Walking across the sand to the lake was very difficult because of the pine needles!Within the last 2 miles I passed the beautiful Tallac estates (part of the National Forest Service). I said to myself, “Self, when I grow up, I want a house like one of these AND a car so I don’t have to walk 13.1 miles on blistered feet!”
We had the coolest most pleasant June ever, and I kept thinking we would pay for it in September. We are. It is still hot hot hot. September 21 is usually the first day of Autumn but the thermometer is clueless. In Mineral King over the weekend I was seeking signs of Autumn. The squirrels and chipmunks are very very busy, and some leaves are turning. These are willows in bright yellow.Meanwhile, the aspens are as oblivious to the change of season as is the thermometer, but the light has a different quality to it.It’s the tall dry grasses that really tell me the season in Mineral King.
My mobile easel is in a new place behind the cabin. See? I was standing there painting and a chipmunk ran across my foot. “How rude”, was my first thought. He was awfully cute, but that was a total invasion of my personal space by a complete stranger. Then I bent down and looked: I was invading his space by standing in front of his front door! (Obviously I should have tried another photo – please excuse the blurriness) This is called Arriving In Mineral King. It is still wet and was painted in Mineral King, in case you were seeking a bit of authenticity. 8×10, $80, oil on wrapped canvas. Hard to believe I was standing in Farewell Gap one week and painting it the next!
This is titled Late Summer, Early Morning. It was so beautiful out one morning that I was actually willing to stop power walking briefly to take a non-blurry photo or six to paint from! It isn’t yet on my website because, well because. Everyone’s busy. Including you. Thanks for looking at my blog in your busy-ness!In case you are wondering, those are not olive trees in the mid-ground. They are oaks. However, if calling them olive trees sells the painting, they can be olive trees. 😎
- What is this? A town-wide event for merchants, artists, restauranteurs, anyone who would like to join in October 3 in Three Rivers! The idea is for each place of business to do something special, to remind folks down the hill (and in town) that Three Rivers is a good place to go with many choices. Nadi Spencer and The Art Co-op are participating. To learn more, you can visit Nadi’s site http://www.nadispencer.com/ or visit the blog shown at the beginning of this posting.
These little guys are developing a taste for cat food. Wonder if you will see them at 1st Saturday??
Doesn’t the title bring to mind the idyllic creation of art? I wish! It means that I finally tackled piles and files, returned phone calls, paid bills, organized stuff, sorted and tossed, filed, wrote notes, scheduled jobs, made decisions and lists. It also means I sketched a few ideas for some possible upcoming jobs. Whoever would have thought that I’d be so fortunate to have a home studio? Whoever would have thought that it would turn into more of an office than a place to create work? Whoever would have thought that my dear husband would bring the vacuum out and vacuum the floor for me?? (It IS a Power Tool – that IS his department!) Maybe tomorrow, after 2 meetings with The Art Co-op, maybe, just maybe I will be able to paint! Anticipation is so sweet. Where I paint when I’m not running the business of painting. Where I do the business of art and sometimes even get to draw! Zeke likes to hang out waiting for me. If the door is closed, he yells at me until the door opens. Then he comes in and yells until the door opens again. He has me well trained.
The Art Co-op is now on Facebook. I don’t get that – what it is for, how it works and who has time to figure it out or go cruising around on it or enter little sentences about what one is doing when. If you are into Facebook, you can look up The Art Co-op (but I don’t know how to tell you to do that.) It has to do with increasing visibility, but how do we get found in a crowd of millions? This I get. It is looking back toward Mineral King on the trail to Farewell Gap. It was a cloudy day with clear air and beautiful sunshine. In case you’ve never been to Farewell Gap, this is how it looks when you still have 2-3 miles left to walk. Then you get to the top and almost get blown back to Mineral King. I wanted to photograph the sign at the top and compare the elevation to that on my Garmin Forerunner but my hat needed to be hung onto so I ran out of hands for all that silliness.This is what the other side looks like. It is the way to the Kern, to Hockett Meadow if you are so inclined, and it is the way deer hunters go because it is National Forest over there. Harry O’Farrell came from there while hunting for a trail building party and was the first man of European descent to see Mineral King. (thanks, Harry!)And this is what it looks like back toward Mineral King. Not too often that one gets a view over the top of Timber Gap. Empire is to the right of Timber; where the mountains get sort of reddish is the Franklin drainage. I love knowing where I am, don’t you? (I mean where you are when you are there, not where I am. . .)
Who has time to paint? Today was spent planning, sorting through records of paintings sold and unsold, making decisions about what to paint for which venue (galleries and shows), choosing canvases, attaching wires, naming and numbering and then prioritizing them. This is what that process looks like: All that list-making and canvas shuffling made me almost twitchy with the desire to begin painting. Finally, I was able to put brush to canvas, and here is Late Summer, Early Morning with a little more detail. Still haven’t tackled that river road, but the trees definitely are improving with layers.
In The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, she suggests taking field trips for inspiration. This book is written primarily for “blocked” artists; I take a lot of field trips, and the ideas come much faster than the opportunities for painting.It is the light, always the light. Sometimes it is the colors, textures, or sense of place. If I paint this, some of that heavy overhang will need to be pruned in some manner. Finally figured out how to get close shots with my PHD but the color is no where near as intense as in reality! It was The Other JB who fell in love with this pine cone. We took an extended hiking break to arrange and photograph this beautiful specimen of color, texture and shape. We had what my husband refers to as “A Rainbow Day” in Mineral King. Unbelievable clarity with all the fires in California!
Collaborate: “work jointly on an activity, esp. to produce or create something”. Co-operative: “a farm, business, or other organization that is owned and run jointly by its members, who share the profits or benefits.” The Art Co-op: The place where I collaborate and co-operate with 6 other artists! 41707 Sierra Drive, Three Rivers, California. Open every day except Monday (WILL BE OPEN LABOR DAY!) from 10 – 6.
Sometimes while I am there, I actually paint!