I’m Back! Art & Hiking in the Wild West – Part 1

Hello! I recently returned from a trip out west! I visited Montana,  took a quick stop in California, & ended in Nevada. My trip was centered around great friends, nature, & art-making. I had a wonderful time. I want to share pictures from my travels but in two parts, cause I have so many pics! Here is Part 1 :-)

For the first few days of my trip I stayed in Polebridge at the North Fork Hostel click here to visit the website. It was a great place and I had a comfortable stay with a lot of great company. I met new friends and ventured out to Bowman Lake several times. (pictures below from the website)

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Sitting on the porch chatting with new friends, and we were visited by a deer and her baby.

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Bowman Lake was where I took my watercolors to paint. It is located in the North Fork area of Glacier and not commonly visited by most visitors to the park.

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Below is a picture I took off the web of The Mercantile “The Merc” click here to visit The Merc website. I could walk from the hostel to the Merc and pick up coffee and a bear claw – this place is known for the pastries. It was also a gathering place where everyone stopped before heading out on their adventures.

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One of my new friends named Rick had asked me how I had found the hostel. I said I had found it on the web and it looked very inviting. He said, “Well you found a gem, I have been coming here for 32 years with my sons, and now my grandson.”

A group of us went to visit Rick’s friend, Joseph C. Moore, an artist that lives right outside of Polebridge in his artist’s studio cabin. When we arrived we saw that he left a note on his door that he was out running an errand (he doesn’t have cell service, so he leaves notes lol). We walked around his property and I got to look into the windows of his studio to see some of his work. On the outside of his home he displays these faces that he makes with cement:

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I later got to meet Joseph that same evening but didn’t have my camera on me to take a picture with him. He had a gray beard and rosy cheeks. His personality was bubbly and friendly, he leaned in when he spoke to me, and asked me several questions about my art and travels.  He doesn’t have a website and his studio can be visited only through word of mouth. So unless you talk to the people in Polebridge and ask about him, you’d never know he was there. He invited me to revisit that next week so he could give me a tour but I had to say no cause I was leaving the following day.

The North Fork Hostel does exhibit a few of his paintings in the common area.

I wanted to share the picture I took of his view from the backside of his studio… ahhh-mazing:

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My last evening at the hostel I shared pizza and beers at the Northern Lights Saloon about a mile walk from the hostel. There Rick’s son played the blues while his grandson break-danced:

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The National Bison Range in Dixon, Montana, is about a 1.5 hour drive from Kalispell. The NBR is one of the oldest National Wildlife Refuges in the United States. I saw bears, antelope, an eagle, deer, mountain goats, and of course the bison herd…all on a 19 mile loop. Seriously this place was freakin’ cool. So much to see!

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I was longing to hike in Glacier National Park. I didn’t have a hiking partner so I asked around for what trails were most populated and was told The Highline Trail. When in bear country I especially do not want to hike alone.

I got up early one morning and headed for the trail head but first stopped at the Apgar visitor’s center. I talked to a park ranger who suggested the Highline Trail was best for hiking alone and she made sure I had bear spray…yes I sure did lol!

I left and while heading for my car a young woman named Lisa approached me and asked if I would like a hiking buddy? She said, “I overheard you say you were hiking Highline, I am too, and I would rather not hike it by myself” HOW COOL IS THAT?! I was so grateful that Lisa joined me… here are pictures of our hike. In the one with my hands in the air, I am standing in front of the Grinnell Glacier!

BTW this same trail was closed a week after our hike due to bear activity! yikes!

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Lake McDonald is a great hang out spot for relaxing or several water activities. And Amy and I visited the local farmer’s market in Colombia Falls – Beers, food, art, and bluegrass music!
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More to come! Thank you for taking a look at Part 1… Part 2 coming soon!

Xo

Rebecca

A New Collage, Lunch with a Friend, & Nature

Hi!

It feels like summer. I am enjoying it, its nice to sleep with the windows open and wake up to the sounds of the birds chirping.

Last week I spent the good part of the week working on some new paintings. I was working on one abstract painting and noticed a struggle to make it look like something. I felt an urge to pull a face out of the lines and textures, maybe a tree, or leaf. I fought the urge because I didn’t want my painting to “look” like something, I wanted to find my own language through the abstract process. Well, that painting is sitting on my easel starring at me… I am giving it space. The process is like nature in a way. You see things are going to bloom when they are good and ready, that goes for spring flowers as well as what is sitting on our easels. Trusting in the process and being patient is required however hard it is.

During the week I met for lunch with my former high school art teacher and talented artist Carrie Simon. It was great to reunite with her, its literally been years! :-)  carrieandme

She continues to challenge her artistic process as well and is inspired by nature. Here is an example of one of her acrylic paintings, isn’t it lovely?

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She remains an encouraging spirit for me as she did all those years ago. We both acknowledged the same struggles when working on our artwork. Working with nature came up also in our conversations. Carrie has more recently been inspired by floral imagery, she explained when she is in the zone and painting in her studio it’s like she hits a rhythm that feels like a dance. Carrie will be showing her work this fall in a solo show – see more of Carrie’s work here & info: http://carriesimonart.com/

After our lunch I felt reassured and decided to not hold myself back again when I am working on the canvas. I also agreed to feel frustrated if frustration came, I agreed to BE WITH IT.

I went home and started a small 12 x 12 canvas. It started in watercolor then I started adding mixed media collage, I let it just go where it wanted to go. Then trees began to appear. I started to create a landscape. It felt great and I was in a flow state (one of my favorite destination spots ;-)). Here are the results:20160526_125756

My mother says it reminds her of a church. I thought how perfect that is! Nature IS my church… I agreed. Nature may be wanting to be expressed more through me, maybe the language I am seeking to find is all around me… In the inspiration of the natural world. I am excited about what is to come. I’ll update you all on what happens with the one starring at me on my easel too lol!

I found sheet music in my collage collection and one of the songs was titled, “Look to Your Soul” – Connection? Ahhh yes. And it all came together. Music, Nature, Art – a great trio, top that off with self-connection and boom!.. “Look To Your Soul” was born.

The message here is trust and patience… I found this great poem yesterday which I thought I would share:

Every morning
Swimming up out of dreams
I surrender to being here
I let go into gravity
Into the way the sweet earth pulls me to her
Head, hip, arm, leg . . . . with each exhale I drop further
Into cool white sheets, firm mattress, bed frame,
floor, walls, earth, earth, earth. . . .
It takes practice
To give up habitual holding on, holding in, holding back
Every morning I open myself
And invite grace to have its way with me

~ Oriah “Mountain Dreamer” House

Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts with me. I’d love to hear from you whenever you feel the urge. Share with me whats going on for you, your art, what your celebrating…

Invite the Grace…

Hugs,

Rebecca

P.S. Here is a beautiful song to create to: Sacred Sound by Youssoupha Sidibe

 

 

Step outside of the studio: Boost your creativity.

Today was like any other day in my studio. I was creating, painting, listening to music for hours… until all of a sudden I felt the urge to get out of the studio. I felt blocked and knew it was time to stop.

I decided to visit my friend Erica at the local juice bar. Erica gave me the lowdown on the cold-pressed juices and we did a “flu-shot” together. Turmeric, ginger, apple cider vinegar, and oil of oregano mixed in a tiny shot glass with pepper sprinkled on top. It was a bright yellow drink… I loved its color. It went down smooth and then gave a kick at the end.

From there I stopped at the local coffee shop. I sat for an hour, wrote in my journal, read a little from my inspirational books which currently are “The Motivation Manifesto” by Brendon Burchard and “Brave Intuitive Painting” by Flora Bowley. Then I laid out my plans for the week (my Sunday ritual). This was just what I needed. I felt a boost of inspiration and new it was time to get back to the studio.

On the drive home and while at the stop light, there was a person on the corner with a sign begging for money or food. It was perfect timing! A few weeks ago at a women’s group I attend monthly we put together bags of imperishable foods with a card, for occasions just like this! -See a person in need hand them a bag. I have about 15 bags in my trunk and had one handy in the back seat. I rolled down my window and called him over… he graciously grabbed the bag. This encounter filled my heart with warmth. I got home and was fueled with new ideas it was my time away for a “creativity boost.”

Did you know Stanford researchers found that walking boosts creative inspiration by an average of 60%! According to the NY Times, Assistant professor at UCSF Loren Frank says that when the brain is constantly stimulated with digital devices, “you prevent the learning process.”   So take a break my creative friends! You can also get a “creativity boost” many ways. Go for a walk, visit a friend, get off the screen (phone, computer, T.V), or meditate… these are just a few ways to detach and reconnect to yourself and the world, which can spark new ideas and lead to inspiration!

Please comment below on ways you boost your creativity! I would love to get new ideas myself.

With Gratitude,

Rebecca

Check out Erica’s Blog:  http://inspiredtoshine.com/

 

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Introducing! My first blog post…

This is history in the making!  My first blog post ever.
To be honest the idea of blogging about my life is scary.  It’s pulling me from my comfort zone.  I know that when we do things away from our comfort zone is also the place where the magic happens.  So here I am.  I know that blogging and creativity go hand-in-hand, so this will be fun!
Welcome to my site.  My intention  is to continue to make new artwork and share my experiences of my creative process.  I would like to share my gifts with the world.  I look forward to the inspiration that will come and what I will create.  Through this process I hope to serve in anyway I can, don’t be afraid to ask me questions…. about anything.
Thank you for being a part of my journey and check in regularly for my blog!
Rebecca Unchartered