Scribbles From The Road, Part 2

Fields of Canola Flowers

Our travels continue on from Coeur d’Alene to McCall, Idaho. The Pacific North West or “PNW”, as it is known as by those living in this region, is absolutely beautiful. We traveled through mountains, farmland and ranch lands and as driving through, we are struck by fields upon fields of bright yellow. We were in Grangeville, Idaho and cars everywhere were pulling over so that people could take photos. The need for fueling up our truck came at the perfect time for me to get out and ask what we were driving by and was surprised when I was told that they were Canola flowers.

Of all of the items I buy in the grocery store, I have never once put any thought into canola oil but seeing those fields gave me a new appreciation for what is being harvested each year.

We traveled up the next mountain range and this was the sight as we were leaving…

As we climbed the mountain, we were struck by even more beauty…

White Bird Hill Summit mountain pass is at an elevation of 4,450 feet. Located at the southwest corner of the Camas prairie, White Bird is near the Salmon River crossing point for the Lewis and Clark expedition and also the location of the 1877 Battle of White Bird Canyon, which was the first fight of the Nez Perce War where the U.S. Army was defeated. The summit was named after Chief White Bird. Photos of this view do not adequately show the elevation or beauty but trust me, it is stunning!

We traveled down through canyon along side the Salmon River.

In part 3, I will share the photos of McCall and it’s landscape.

Vasquez Rocks Park

Vasquez Rocks Park, Agua Dulce, CA

Tuesday, March 6th, was a windy day but beautiful and the temperature was perfect for painting “En Plein Air” with a group of friends. I am a native Californian but have not been back to this area since I was a child and now that I have been back, I kick myself for waiting so many years to do so. This is a perfect area for so many sports along with photography, painting or just hanging out to enjoy the beauty.

Vasquez Rocks was home to the Shoshone and Tataviam peoples and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. These iconic rock formations known as “hogback ridges” are steeply ridged strata that sit along the San Andreas Fault system and of course, we as Californian’s have to deal with the occasional earthquake now and then because of this fault system.

This area has been used to film motion pictures, television and advertising since 1935 but prominently since 1963 with episodes of the Outer Limits, the Wild Wild West, Blazing Saddles, The Flinstones and Star Trek’s episode “Arena”, where Captain Kirk rolls a boulder on the reptiloid alien, Gorn. The prominent rock formation has been nicknamed “Kirk’s Rock” since it had been featured in a several Star Trek episodes. Taco Bell, Nike and Bank of America have shot commercials here and there are so many more, too numerous to mention but interesting to look up.

I continue to set aside days to paint outdoors and am loving the time but with all this amazing reference material, it’s time to head back into the studio. I consider myself a perpetual student and look forward to the challenge and practice of this technique. I am encouraged by what I was able to accomplish in a few hours and encourage any other studio painters to grab their gear and head outside.

There are so many wonderful sites to visit in Southern California and if you like the desert and are traveling in the area, definitely make a point to explore this area. Happy travels!

Just Off of Mulholland Hwy

Rocky Oaks is a small nature reserve and wildlife refuge regional park located in the Santa Monica Mountains.

As we all have experienced, sometimes the time in your day does not belong to you – it gets chipped away by the busy-ness of life and/or the needs of others and this week has been one of those weeks for me. I needed a “mental health day” so I grabbed my art gear and headed off to this state park to meet up with a couple of other artists. The day was perfect and there was even a pond with ducks and various other birds. If Southern California doesn’t get anymore real rain, this little pond may be gone in a few months so I decided to set up my easel to capture the moment in oils.