Friday, July 18, 2008
Elk Mountain Aspen
Yesterday afternoon I wanted to go out and paint the layered cumulus clouds shadowing the Zumwalt Prairie. The prairie is the largest remaining grassland of its type in North America. It is currently still covered in wildflowers which helps it not look quite so bleak. I wasn't paying attention and made a wrong turn, which was fortunate for the cowboys we found stranded by their broken down '83 Chevy pickup pulling a horse trailer. We gave one of them a lift into cell phone range so they could summon help. By the time we returned to their pickup (locally called a "rig"), it was too late to paint, but it ended up being an interesting scouting adventure. We looped back on some remote dirt roads running through vast cattle ranches with no people. In one little turn of Elk Mountain road, there were several beautiful stands of aspen that I returned to this morning. I was visited by many deer and a few rabbits. I'll have to wait a little longer to paint on the prairie, and I wish I could return to paint the aspen this autumn; it is definitely a nice location to paint again. The pristine fresh mountain air alone is worth the trip. I would like to fuss with the shapes more in this study, they are a little clunky, but at least I'm painting a little bit looser.