It is so nice to be out again, backpack full of pastels and my lightweight easel, though sorely missing Sophy, who always accompanied me on my painting jaunts. Scouting a few days ago I found a great vantage point to peer down into Dry Hollow from. I was happy to start a new drawing there the next day. The short hike to my spot is through red earth, peach pink sand, cryptogamic soil, past beautiful old silver tree roots, down mini orange washes and loose stones, over gorgeous gray slickrock mixed with all manner of rose and peach with wonderful blodges and patterns of lichen. It’s an art show just getting to my painting site.
Today, just as I parked the car, some light clouds covered over the sun, muting the shadows so clearly defined in the sun. I almost left then and there but decided I could at least get some of the placement of shapes on paper in. The first day had been bad enough! First I forgot an essential part of my easel and had to return to the car halfway to my destination, then again I did the same trip for the sunscreen and finally arriving at my site I realized I didn’t have my hat. Clearly I’d forgotten my regular drill over the winter. I persisted albeit squinting. But today I have all my gear, and to my delight the sun did come out sporadically to show me the wonderful shadow patterns in Dry Hollow. It was a bit gusty so I put a large rock in my knapsack and hung it on the easel for ballast.
Suddenly my pastels just dropped to the ground scattering. Some movement of mine together with the wind must have mysteriously unhinged the crossbar of the easel, which had the pastel tray attached.
And yes I screamed! and railed at the heavens, before getting down on hands and knees to gather the scattered and broken pastels . Then I thanked myself and the universe that I had my army knife with me and could rescrew a few needed screws to hold the tray in place. Equanimity restored, I continued drawing. Gusts would interrupt my work occasionally, but the sun was now out, a cause for celebration. Finally though I gave up, defeated by the wind, but happy to have had some time to draw in this beautiful spot. And then as I was returning to the car the wind became calmer, another cause for gladness as carrying a large piece of foam core, my drawing board, in one hand during windy weather is NOT easy. I got lost for a while in the beauty of the amazing sandstone swirls and lichen patches and spots as I meandered back to the car, and even saw my first blooming locoweed. It’s spring!