Monday, August 11, 2014

Quiet & Calm: Does It Get Better Than This?

After a week of rain, we got lucky and landed a sunny day for our "Illustrated Journal" workshop. Nine of us hiked to the far side of Silver Lake in Brighton, Utah and prepared for a morning of plein air painting. 

I had scoped out the area the week before and knew exactly where I wanted to set up, however when we arrived, there was a fisherman there (Dimitri). "Will all of you be staying here in this spot?" he queried. Clearly his hopes for fishing in solitude were dashed.

In a heartbeat I said, "Yes, but we will whisper so that the fish will not be disturbed."
He seemed to like that solution and kept on fishing and we began to paint...quietly.

Judi gave a demonstration about using watercolor pencils and I provided a demo for painting asymmetrical trees.


The lake was a busy place and we often had people stop to look at our work or strike up a conversation. There was a young girl who vocalized her distaste for fish.  We could hear her coming from a distance because as she marched along the trail, she was saying (in a loud voice) things like, "I hate fish! It's bloody and disgusting with all those guts and stuff on the inside. I won't eat it...EVER!" Ha-ha! She was cute and had a big bow in her hair. 

During our lunch break, I reached into my backpack and pulled out a peanut butter sandwich. I set it on the log in front of me. As I turned to grab my water bottle, a squirrel ran across the log and tried to take the sandwich. I hissed at him (remembering to not disturb the fish) and waved my arms. He scooted away. I picked up my sandwich. He ran up the left side of my chair. I barked at him! He took off. Then he jumped onto the right arm of my chair and I instinctively struck him with my sketchbook and sent him flying.

Never saw the little critter again! 

We learned that the "Tour De Utah" bicycle race was on the same day and that the canyon would be shut down from 1:00 - 4:00 pm.  Our workshop was supposed to end at 1:00, however in light of the circumstances, we decided to end at 12:15; allowing us time to walk around the lake and get down the canyon.

Because of the early departure, we didn't get as much time as we wanted to write in our journals. Hopefully the students will write about their experiences when they arrive home. Even without the writing, I felt like the student illustrations stood on their own merits and depicted the Quiet & Calm of Silver Lake successfully!

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