Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ah, Wilderness

Sierra Ridge
6" X 4"
Watercolor and Pencil

We hadn't been back to Lone Pine since last fall. It was like coming home: the scent of the sage, the bone-warming heat of the sun, the cool air sliding off the sparkling mountains. I felt the tension of the last few weeks melt out of me, carried away with the breeze.

We needed this trip. We needed some time crawling over rocks and bending under willows, looking deep into the creek for lolling, iridescent trout. We needed to sit on a damp bank and absorb the fragrance of the wild roses sprawled along the creek, with half-dollar blooms of glowing pink and pale sepal stars where the blooms were spent. We needed to toss our lines into the amber water and let the sound of the water sing away our tight shoulders and smooth the furrow across our brows.

After a time, we came back to our campsite, to sit in the shade and watch the ridge above us wreathed in a soft focus filter of dust and moisture. The sun had dropped behind the great granite wall, yet there was plenty of daylight left yet. The show would go on for a while.

Nearing Last Light
6" X 4"
Watercolor and Ink

The temperature dropped and the wind picked up speed. Clouds blew up from valleys between the spires and turned coral and pink as daylight ebbed away. The sky deepened to sapphire, the air grew calm, and the first star appeared. Yet on the highest points of the ridge, there were still orange and gold highlights of the setting sun—saying a last farewell before dipping below the horizon miles to the west.

Time for a campfire and star watching for a while before we would climb into the womb of our tent and snuggle into our bags for the night.

PS. The painting of the rail car is coming along well. I'm very excited about it! I think a weekend "outside" helped.


Unknown said...

You write as beautifully as you paint - Lynn Crawford

Artology Now said...

Thanks, Lynn! The Sierra Nevada Mountains are a powerful inspiration!