Monday, October 29, 2012

Wanderings, Home Again, Sunday Meditations

Wheels on my feet, wandering for 2 months, it's good to be home...
 I have been on 3 different trips, each so different and so full of inspirations... a painting retreat on one of our NW islands, a family visit in Texas, and then a road trip through 7 states.  This posting is a little about the road trip.

We had to stop and take the picture above as we entered Nebraska for the first time.  A crossroads, wide open spaces, flatland, nothing there at all, except a few lonely man-made wire structures.  The sign proudly says "the good life."  And it makes you think, what do you really need, after all?  Maybe less is more.
Along the way I sketch and paint in the car when it's not my turn to drive.  I've mastered balancing my tiny palette, bumps in the road, and moving scenery, but it's always challenging.
I liked this rest stop along the way in Wyoming.  The rock structures were so unusual, it was called the Holy City.  There are many places and times when I am lost in nature that I feel I'm worshipping in the Holy City, there is something so restorative to the soul, so wholesome, fresh and raw. 
We spent several days in the Badlands areas in North Dakota and South Dakota (Montana had some too).  Awesome colors, textures, shapes, my painter's heart was so filled with inspiration.  I learned that there are even black veins of lignite (coal) that catch fire from lightning, burn for very long periods, baking the clay soils, turning them into red veins called scoria or red topped hills called "red clinkers".
Fall colors were stunning, aspen, birch, and more, especially along the rivers. Golden yellows, beiges, siennas, umbers, rust, reds, sage greens, a lush parade.
Yellowstone, one of my favorite places.  All misty, smoking geothermal, volcanic wonderland.  I was privileged, shortly after entering the east gate from Cody, Wyoming to spot a bunch of cars.  Yes, look for cars, and you find the wildlife.  I saw my first wolf in the wild, such a treat.  And many bison, and elk.
This last is Opal Pool, lovely carribean colored turquoise water, there were several like this one.

I'm so refreshed (though tired) from all this traveling, new ideas for painting are percolating, canvases are waiting.  I'm thankful for our beautiful world out there "in nature".  It's good to remember we aren't just observers or "consumers" of nature, but we are part of it...   Life is good.