In an attempt to excuse, justify or catch up a bit, I will venture an explanation as to my tardy blog posting.
Fun and relaxation ... often the last on our list of to-do's. I was raised in a farming family and work always took precedence, but when the work was done we managed to find time for fun. On the high line in North Dakota, the summers are short ( and fraught with mosquitos) and the winters are long, so you have to adapt your "fun time" to the demands of weather. We did alright!
Summers were spent carving out as much time as possible at Brush Lake ( just over the MT/ND line near Dagmar, MT) (an alkali lake - so no fish), swimming, boating, water skiing. Winters found us ice skating, snowmobiling, sledding, ice fishing and just generally out in the snow. But, fishing reigned supreme as a whole family pursuit. Mid-summer, after the hay was up and before harvest started, we (the folks and four kids) would pack the camper (small over-the-cab pickup camper) and boat to drive as far north into Canada as was feasible to get some good fishing and home again in ten days (generally the duration of time anyone could stand living with my three younger brothers in a small camper).
So, it stands to reason (well it could have gone either way considering my brothers - but that is fodder for future blogs) that in my adult years I would gravitate toward wild spaces that have great fishing opportunity. Though I grew up fishing on big Canadian lakes, I have taken quite a shine to fly fishing as any good Montana fisherwoman should.
So, back to my blog absence ... I will admit to fishing, painting, reading, photographing and wandering on the weekends for the last month, perhaps to the neglect of my blog and some housework. But, here it is with no regrets and I hope you enjoy the slideshow of my time high in the Beartooths as much as I enjoyed my R&R. Surrounded by beauty we saw wolves, owls, beaver, deer. mice, black bear, beautiful wild flowers, breathtaking scenery, bison, wild trout (yum), and grizzly tracks near our campsite. It was time well spent in this place that I love.
Though I've been remiss on the blogs, I feel the rest from the fray is a priceless commodity. After all, as a creative spirit I must fill the well with new thoughts and possibilities. And, I think I have some great material for paintings yet to come.
So, enjoy the pictures, live vicariously in this moment, but take some time for yourself and go play!
We are students for life, no matter what our vocation. To hone our skills many professions require regular continued education and even without a mandate a conscientious professional will seek out opportunities as a matter of growth. For artists that continued education often takes the form of workshops where we select from a field of other professional artists whose technique we admire and/or who are renowned instructors.
I had just such an opportunity in June of this year to study with Aaron Schuerr in the Paradise Valley of Montana. He promised plenty of personal time, demonstrations, great scenery and a supper meal that he would cook. Boy did he deliver. For five days we met in the morning, at one of the spots he had picked, and painted, broke for lunch, and painted, broke for a couple hours in the afternoon, and painted into the evening. I was absolutely thrilled with our instruction and the intensive week of painting.
The twelve students were a great bunch of artists and, I think, equally appreciative of Aaron's teaching. Aaron put the miles on getting around to each of us as we were spread out in different locations over a few acres! He really should have been wearing a pedometer. Demonstrations were held daily (and sometimes twice daily) in both oil and pastel. On the last evening, Aaron and his family served a wonderful supper for all of the participants - delicious spaghetti with venison meatballs and homemade marinara. He will host this workshop again at the end of June 2016 and I would highly recommend attending.
Aaron is a talented, hard working, and dedicated artist with a warm personality and a heart of gold. Check out his work and get the workshop schedule here www.aaronschuerr.com .
Now go paint.
Creativity has been my life and I would like to share some of my thoughts, learning and fun facts with you.