Art & Hiking in the Wild West – Part 2

Here is Part 2 of my trip in the Wild West!

I am SO grateful to have held two collage workshops during my trip. One in Kalispell, Montana and one in Las Vegas, Nevada. Thanks to my friends, Amy and Erica for their support and helping me set them up. Both groups created their own Landscape Collages from images they personally selected. It is great to see everyone’s finished artwork, they are always unique to each individual.

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Most of us find it hard to make the time for our creative sides. But when we do and open up to the experience, we realize it’s just what we needed. Thanks to everyone for coming out and exploring your creativity. So fun to see you all!

In Nevada, I also met up with my hiking buddies. The plan was to attempt Mt. Whitney, August 31st. To prepare we hit the trails…those are my friends Lori and Steve at the bottom of the pic. This is an area right outside of Las Vegas near Mt. Charleston.

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As a group of 6 we started Mt. Whitney at 4:30 am on the 31st.

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Mt. Whitney is located in California, and is the highest summit in the contiguous United States and the Sierra Nevada. My friend Steve comes here often and we all thanked him for leading the way to the summit. As a marathoner most of his life and now being 76 years old, he hasn’t slowed down. You can find him leading groups of hikers around the Las Vegas area (and as he would say) and beyond!

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We stepped foot on the summit after climbing some steep sections. If you look in the picture above of Steve and I, directly above our heads is the route to the top. This is called the mountaineers route. Its shorter in miles but very tough in elevation.

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We reached the summit at 11:30 am. It took about 7 hours to get there. Total – we hiked 14 miles that day with over 7,000 ft of elevation gain. We were all excited at the top. It was my second time being there and just as amazing. With these guys, we always celebrate with Fritos and yoga poses. Lol!

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After the climb I had a few more days before heading back east. During a resting day I created this landscape collage inspired by the Nevada blue sky, mountains, and desert. The night before I headed back east I had a nice dinner with friends.

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That’s all for pictures! Thanks for taking a look!

What I loved about this whole trip experience was that it involved so much creativity and inspiration. I am grateful for visiting friends and experiencing new adventures. I look forward to more.

Let me know if you have any questions about these hikes, Glacier National Park, the National Bison Range, or the North Fork Hostel. I would love to help if you plan to visit.

I would also love to hear about your trips or adventures this year, let me know in the comments section.

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