Saturday, July 13, 2013

Farewell to Rocky

This morning finds me at the end of my two week artist in residency in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Tomorrow my little friends who inhabit the wide open spaces near the William Allen White cabin will be entertaining another visitor. The golden mantle ground squirrel who sits on the pillar of the front porch each morning looks out over Moraine Park and appears to be greeting the new day.  The rufous hummingbird who perches on the dead branch along the path to the cabin enjoys nectar from the nearby Indian Paintbrush.  The Yellow-bellied Marmot will awaken someone else when he gnaws on the roof in the morning.  I will not soon forget this incredible experience where folks have been so kind to us and every day was filled with new discoveries of magical places.  In the words of John Muir, "Who can imagine beauty so fine in so savage a place, but gardens are blooming in all sorts of nooks and hollows."

Friday, July 12, 2013

Happy Trails

Tuesday we found three of the early artist's landscapes.  I sketched in a field of wildflowers in the tundra off of Trail Ridge Road for Birger Sandzen's "In the Mountains" and then we traveled to Lumpy Ridge where I sketched one of Sandzen's scenes on the Devil's Gulch Road.  Wednesday we had a great turnout for the children's programs at Hidden Valley.  The park photographer came and took photos of the children painting.  We went to Endovalley for a picnic lunch, and then back to Lumpy Ridge to sketch the other scene we found there on Tuesday.  Wednesday evening there were about thirty folks at my evening program at the Beaver Meadow's Visitor Center.  Son Shane and wife Abbie came from Northglenn, and painter friend Charlotte form Estes also came.
Thursday we took the morning to hike around Bear Lake, then to Alberta Falls, Nymph Lake and Dream Lake.  Today we hiked the Mills Creek Trail in search of Dean Babcock's painting "Across the Valley".  We found the landscape and I sketched it, then had a picnic lunch there.  Back to the Lumpy Ridge area where we visited the McGraw Ranch and hiked the Cow Creek trail.  Another full day with beautiful scenery,  and we almost had the trails to ourselves today.  It was very peaceful and relaxing, a perfect ending to a wonderful two weeks as Artist in Residence at Rocky Mountain National Park.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Trail Ridge and Lumpy Ridge

Drove the Fall River Road this morning, charming one way gravel road to the Alpine Visitor Center.  On the way back on Trail Ridge Road we discovered the location where Birger Sandzen painted "In the Mountains".  Pleasantly surprised to find this one, and enjoyed doing the painting in the midst of a wildflower garden in the alpine tundra.  Drove back to Endovalley for a pick nick lunch and thrn up the Devil's Gulch road where we found Sandzen's "Fall in the Mountains" and "Mountain Stream, Devil's Gulch".  The light was not good, but did a sketch of the latter, and will return tomorrow to do the former.  Have definitely exceeded expectations in every regard.  Made the circle thru Glen Haven and back to Estes and found bighorn sheep in the Big Thompson Canyon.  Serendipity!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Cascades and waterfalls

Yesterday we found the location where Dean Babcock painted The Twin Sisters and then hiked the trail to Gem Lake on Lumpy Ridge and found the location for Birger Sandzen's painting of Long's Peak.  I did a ten minute watercolor sketch as it began to rain and hail.  Today we hiked the Ouzel Lake Trail in Wild Basin to see Copeland Falls, Calypso Cascades and Ouzel Falls .  Did a sketch of Calypso Cascades.  Hiked out and beat the rain.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Many magical days in Rocky, and I have located and sketched seven of the early artists landscapes already.  On Trail Ridge Road I found Sandzen's landscapes of Sundance Mountain and Iceberg Lake.  We hiked to Bierstadt Lake on July Fourth, and I Sketched the landscape for Bierstadt's painting there.  A mallard with eight downy ducklings swam by as I was painting.  Went to Grand Lake to paint Bierstadt's scene from there and hiked to Adams Falls.  Today we found Babcock'slandscape on the Twin Sisters Trail, and I did a painting there.  I also painted the scene where Moran did "Solitude" on Fish Creek Road this morning.  Found Bierstadt'slandscape near the Dunraven Fish Creek Cottage.  It has been great locating and painting these beautiful places en plain air.

Monday, July 1, 2013

First day as artist in resident in RMNP


Had an amazing day here in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Headed up the Trail Ridge Road and located Sundance Mountain where Birger Sandzen did his painting "Road in the Wilderness".  Hiked the Tundra Trail where we saw pika, marmots and my first ptarmigan.  There were a pair of ptarmigan defending their nest from a marmot.  We watched them for fifteen minutes and then hiked on up the trail.  When we returned, the drama was over, but I could hear peeping, so think the young re safe for now.  Drove on to Lava Cliffs and sketched Iceberg Lake.  The cliffs were backlit and the shadows were great.  Didn't rain until we arrived back at the cabin for the evening.