Rest, Relaxation, and Rejuvenation.
Honey and I needed it so bad. We were both rather worn out from life and, artistically, I’d been feeling rather constipated. Yes constipated. It just seems like the best word to describe it.
We quickly settled into the Homestead Cabin at Pioneer Guest Cabins on Cement Creek Road. There we slept in every day and chuckled at the the hummingbirds while we ate our breakfast.
We laughed at the territorial squirrel who squeaked at us when he felt his pine cones were threatened. And we just enjoyed nature and each other in general.
I did sketching, of coarse, and it took a couple of days to “get in the flow” and feel like it should again. Clearing the blockage. That territorial squirrel squeaked at me almost the whole time I was sketching our very comfortable cabin. We later found out he was the one “ramming” the cabin in the morning by throwing pine cones down on the metal roof.
There were hammocks hung between some of the trees, and so I sat in one and sketched the trees. A rather nice way to make art I think.
The local distillery, Montanya, had an old still set up in their front patio seating and it was just begging to be sketched while Honey shopped. We had gone up the road from our cabin to sketch and take photographs, but the rain made that really difficult. It’s hard to sketch from under an umbrella and it was a miserable failure, so sketching the still was a way of keeping my spirits up.
The next day there was a sketch group meeting at a local gallery, so I joined them. We sketched still-lifes assembled from antiques for sale in the shop and it was a delightful time.
My spirits were raised and more optimistic and so, when we returned to Cement Creek Road and the waterfall I made another sketch that I was up much happier with. There’s a bridge where this waterfall comes down and I parked myself on it determined to do my best and learn from my mistakes of the previous day.
Kebler Pass and accompanying environs were our next destination. Our first stop was the busy Irwin Lake. It was full of families swimming and paddling. The canoes near the edge of the water just demanded to be sketched so I set myself down to do it. In an attempt to loosen up and to try out some different techniques I started painting first, then ink, then more paint. As I was working a little girl stopped to watch for a bit then told me, “I like to paint, too.” I smiled and told her to never stop doing it, even when she’s grown up. These kind of interactions while sketching are one of my favorite things about sketching in public.
We love the Aspen forest on Kebler Pass. It’s unique in how tall and big the Aspen trees are and when you’re standing in the middle of them all it’s as if the world is far, far away and all your cares, worries, and tensions unravel and drift away. You can suddenly breath deeply again.
After eating our picnic lunch Honey got out his camera, I got out my sketch kit, and we both set about trying to capture a little of the mystery of the place. He reminded me, gently, not to try and sketch the whole thing.
Our final day of vacation was spent exploring the road up to Schofield Pass. We love alpine meadows so eventually we chose one to stop at to eat our lunch and take pictures and sketch.
Honey finished taking photos a little before I was done sketching and took one of me working.
At the end of the day I took the opportunity to go back and sketch the barn we had been passing every day. In the moments after I set myself up I decided that this one was just going to be black and white, no paint, and I’m glad I did. When I’m sketching my gaze is constantly shifting between my subject and my paper. As I was working on the bushes behind the barn I looked up and saw a coyote trotting past the barn on his way up the valley.
It was good to get away to the mountains and rest.