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

 

Move your Body, Make Art, Feel Joy!

While hiking hard last Sunday I was experiencing full-on JOY!

The day before I was painting to this awesome song Ed Sheeran – I see Fire (Kygo Remix) LISTEN HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWYp1xRPH5g

…and I experienced again the same full-on JOY!

I started thinking about the similarities in both activities. Could it be the release of stress?  Increase of endorphins? Or just the experience of doing something I love?

I came upon this article http://jamesclear.com/make-more-art by James Clear titled, “Make More Art: The Health Benefits of Creativity”

The part that resonated with me was his explanation of the release from life.

He says, “In our always–on, always–connected world of television, social media, and on–demand everything, it can be stupidly easy to spend your entire day consuming information and simply responding to all of the inputs that bombard your life. Art offers an outlet and a release from all of that. Take a minute to ignore all of the incoming signals and create an outgoing one instead. Produce something. Express yourself in some way. As long as you contribute rather than consume, anything you do can be a work of art.”

I feel the same release when I am in nature, taking a walk, hiking, playing basketball, or creating a painting or collage. Here I am last summer on the summit of Mt. Whitney, in my element.

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I just started watching NBA Basketball again too! Those athletes are just incredible. I played basketball in high school and I am proud to say I still have a great three-point shot. *toothsparkle

There is nothing like the feeling of the release of the ball from my hands and seeing it line up perfectly, have a knowing that you are going to make the shot, and then ‘SWISH!’ It’s like magic… and compares to the feeling I have when I am in the creative flow. It’s like you don’t have to think… the magic is coming through you.

Check out this article to find “10 Athletes that Paint” by Raka Sen and Vanessa Castro

http://www.complex.com/style/2013/09/athlete-artists/

I mean, how cool is that?

“Serena Williams took time to learn how to paint in Paris during her visit for the French Open. Jeremy Evans turned his portrait of himself dunking into a “dunkception” performance piece by actually dunking over it. Even athletes that don’t paint still have their ways of embracing art; Tyson Chandler and Usain Bolt have both taken up photography. And Carmelo Anthony and Shaquille O’Neal are known for their art collections. However they choose to do it, it’s great to see America’s sports stars embracing the art world.”

This is a painting by Ernie Barnes artist and professional football player.

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The benefits of health/fitness and the benefits of expressing ourselves through the arts are plentiful.  Exercise stimulates endorphin production, when your body crosses from an aerobic state to an anaerobic state, it’s suddenly working without enough oxygen to provide the muscles and cells screaming out for it. This is when the “runner’s high” occurs.

For artists, there must be something similar but in relation to being in the ‘FLOW’ maybe we can call it the “Artist’s High” lol!

Here are some things I experience during physical and creative activities I enjoy, i.e. dancing, painting, hiking, collage-making, weightlifting, basketball, etc:

*Release of stress and negative emotions

*Rush of positive energies

*Feelings of courage and pride

*Connection to higher power

*Connection to self

*Imagination expands

*Satisfaction in productivity

*Growth

*Acceptance of being open to new possibilities

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The happier we are the better people we are out in the world. Find the things that bring you joy and try to do them once a day even if for 30 min.

What artistic activities and sports/play to you enjoy? What are the feeling similarities that you notice?

Try them this week and let me know how you felt after! I would love to hear!

Hugs,

Rebecca