Archive for the ‘fly fishing’ Category

Snow Rhapsody on the Stream

September 10, 2020
South Fork of the Rio Grande

The river was clear and smoothly fast in the early morning.
Down about two hundred yards were three logs all the way across the stream. They made the water smooth and deep above them. As Nick watched, a mink crossed the river on the logs and went into the swamp. Nick was excited. He was excited by the early morning and the river.

Ernest Hemingway, “The Big Two-Hearted River”

Riverbend Resort has been my favorite Colorado haunt since our friends the Darrs introduced us to this place twenty years ago. The South Fork of the Rio Grande cuts through the resort, and I decided to rent a tent spot for $30 so I could fish on this private stretch of water that I have come to know so well.

With temperatures hovering at 34 degrees and the one-foot snowfall thawing enough to make trudging through the meadows easier, I pulled on sufficient winter gear to enter the stream and not suffer chills with the icy winds coming down the gorge.

Rhapsody in the Stream

After working the waters for nearly two hours, I only encountered a small brown trout for five seconds before he shook free of the fly. Copper Johns have always been the trouts’ nymph of choice, and I was advised that they were still doing the trick this time of year in these parts. But I was having near-zero luck this time.

Nevertheless, the waters were beautiful as was the fallen snow all around, and I felt a serenity I always cherish when wading a mountain stream. The solitude was rich; I only enountered one other fly fisherman who hailed me from the shore as he was trudging back to his cabin, having caught only one small rainbow. Temperatures continued to hold steady in the mid-thirties, but I felt no discomfort. In the third hour, I finally reached my favorite hole–an enormous shelf of rock the size of a pickup truck slanting into the water, the darkness beneath making my pulse quicken.

My first cast into the shadow of the rock was greeted by a fourteen-inch rainbow whose aerobatics entertained me for about half a minute. By the time I had him within three feet of my net, he broke free and was gone. Still, watching his antics sent thrills throughout my being, and I knew there had to be more action where that originated.

After missing another trio of strikes near the rock, I finally hooked and netted a small brown and took a moment to admire the beautiful bronzes, golds and scarlets that played along his flank as he lay on the rocks. I wasn’t fishing for food today, and was glad to see him dart into the depths once I released him.

All at once the heavens opened and the air was filled with enormous snow flakes. This is the first time I ever stood in the midst of a mountain stream with a snow shower falling all over me and plopping all over the stream. I’ve been surprised before by sudden thunderstorms, always exiting the waters as quickly as possible, but this was different–the enormous flakes fell hard and thick all around me, and the sight was gorgeous. I wanted to take out my phone and shoot pictures, but the waters suddenly rippled in several areas at once as the trout were rising with a vengeance. Because I was using a nymph, I held little hope of landing any of these surface feeders, but I suddenly saw a good-sized brown rolling in the water just underneath the lip of that enormous rock outcropping. I dropped the nymph upstream and watched the grasshopper I used as a strike indicator drift along the shadow of the rock. Suddenly the hopper was gone and I saw the bright flash of gold beneath the surface. A minute later, he was in the net, all fourteen inches of him.

After a quick photo I lowered him back into the water and he was off like a shot. All I could think of was the Hemingway short story (a portion posted above) that I’ve loved since high school. And I laughed at recalling the prosaic line “Nick was happy.” That’s all I could say. Dave was happy. And exhausted. As I turned to leave the stream, grateful for such a day and thinking nothing better could possibly happen, a bird suddenly visited me. He landed on my fly rod and remained perched there. After a few frozen moments of our staring at one another, I reached into my pouch, fished out my phone, flipped to the camera mode, aimed, and caught his picture. He stayed another thirty seconds before deciding to move on. I couldn’t believe it: a bird suddenly perching on my flyrod as I waded toward shore. And staying awhile as I stood still, holding the rod as steady as possible.

Bird on the Flyrod

Two summers ago, while here at Riverbend Resort, I was watercoloring on the porch of my cabin and was visited by a bird who perched on the painting I was working on en plein air. He also remained to be photographed for warm memories. My friends laughed at the encounter, calling me Saint Francis.

Bird on the Painting

In the morning we continue our Odyssey as we venture into Utah. Thanks for reading. This has been a heart-warming day for me.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Three Fly Patterns Completed and Packaged

September 1, 2020
Working in Studio Eidolons
Elk Hair Caddis
Royal Wulff
Parachute Adams

I have happily drawn this commission project to a close–three fly patterns, all of them 8 x 10″. For over ten years, I have had the desire to attempt these subjects in watercolor, but was always too timid to try. Once this commission “made” me take the plunge, I found out how enjoyable such an endeavor can be. The nature of the hackles forced me to develop more sensitivity with brushstrokes. In the midst of the project I returned to the Six Canons of Painting by the Sixth-Century Chinese painter Xie He. I really needed this reminder about the “bone method” in the second principle which calls attention to the integrity of the individual brushstrokes. I believe I’m going to take the next step and see if I can market such images in the future. Already I’m thinking about creating greeting cards with these images on the front and boxing them in sets to sell.

More jobs await. Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

We Must Cultivate Our Own Garden

August 31, 2020
Reminiscence of Grandma’s Garden Gate

Sitting up in bed with my morning coffee, I looked up again at one of my watercolors we keep framed and hanging in the bedroom. The composition always brings to mind words from my Mom about the morning she brought me home from the hospital over sixty-six years ago. She still tells me that the fragrance of lilacs blooming greeted her when she carried me through the garden gate of my Dad’s parents’ farm. That was the reason I painted this composition; Sandi and I purchased this gate from an antique store in Lubbock years ago for the express purpose of bringing it home and my painting it.

Continuing to think over the painting, I went to the bookcase and retrieved my volume of Candide’s Voltaire, which closes with these words:

. . . but we must cultivate our own garden.

Those words haunt me because I awoke this morning, my head filled with the acrid smoke of degrading words wafting through our atmosphere from our perennial political rancor. Some people seem to crave this diet. I am not among them. Years ago, when I started this blog, I wished to send words out into the social media torrent that would make readers feel better, instead of worse, living in this current climate. I believe we have the strength to determine what to fix our minds upon, and I further believe the ancient Proverb that states “for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

My continued reading in Zola’s The Masterpiece continues to fill me with richness of thought. The words Claude spoke to his author friend may as well have been directed at me:

“Why should you worry?’ said Claude, after sharing Sandoz’s silence for a moment. “You’re happy, you’re working, you’re producing something!”

Studio Eidolons

Walking down the hall and entering Studio Eidolons with a glad heart, I sat down to one of my drafting tables and made a collage greeting card, using folding card stock with matching envelope from a vast collection I have been saving and hoarding for over a decade. While refurbishing my studio over past months, I have opened boxes and cabinets stuffed with art-related materials that I had forgotten about and decided I would begin making things with them once again.

Once the collage/card task was completed, I went to the other drafting table and resumed work on the trout fly still waiting for me. This is a Parachute Adams pattern that I could possibly finish later today. It will complete a series of three trout flies I have been commissioned to paint.

Parachute Adams in Progress

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Musing over Art Theories in the Studio Eidolons

August 28, 2020
Studio Eidolons

Forty-eight hours ago, while engaged in my morning watch activities before beginning the days’ schedule, I was visited in the most profound way by a hoard of ideas. Before long, I had scribbled out ten pages of longhand notes in my journal, feeling I was trying to catch a swarm of butterflies in a small net.

In Pursuit of the “Spirit” of Art

I had a watercolor class coming up in three hours and was still trying to find a way to introduce what we were going to attempt that day. I decided to work on the First Canon of Xie He’s writings about painting. It has been translated this way:

Engender a sense of movement through spirit consonance.

While trying to unpack this aphorism, I came across the notion that the word translated “spirit” refers to the Chinese chi or qi.

Opening my Art History book by Marilyn Stokstad, I found the following:

The first principle announces that “spirit consonance” imbues a painting with “life’s movement.” this “spirit” is the Daoist qi, the breath that animates all creation, the energy that flows through all things. When a painting has qi, it will be alive with inner essence, not merely outward resemblance. Artists must cultivate their own spirit so that this universal energy flows through them and infuses their work.

Two days later, my head is still spinning with this visitation. For decades I have been aware of this tension within my own perception of art, between skill and inspiration. I have possessed the skills most of my life, and continued in training to refine those skills. But inspiration is much more elusive, and I have always pondered this great divide between “work of art” and “art”. Just what exactly is the nature of this energy that animates one’s work, transforming it into “art”? This theoretical, spiritual side has driven my imagination for so long, and I still enjoy seeking it out.

In the midst of my writing, I laughed, recalling Jack Kerouac’s On the Road.

Dean and I sat alone in the back seat and left it up to them and talked. “Now, man, that alto man last night had IT— he held it once he found it; I’ve never seen a guy who could hold so long.” I wanted to know what “IT” meant. “Ah well”— Dean laughed—“ now you’re asking me impon-de-rables— ahem! Here’s a guy and everybody’s there, right? Up to him to put down what’s on everybody’s mind. He starts the first chorus, then lines up his ideas, people, yeah, yeah, but get it, and then he rises to his fate and has to blow equal to it. All of a sudden somewhere in the middle of the chorus he gets it— everybody looks up and knows; they listen; he picks it up and carries. Time stops. He’s filling empty space with the substance of our lives, confessions of his bellybottom strain, remembrance of ideas, rehashes of old blowing. He has to blow across bridges and come back and do it with such infinite feeling soul-exploratory for the tune of the moment that everybody knows it’s not the tune that counts but IT—” Dean could go no further; he was sweating telling about it.

The IT factor–that is what I seek in making art. And the visitation in Studio Eidolons two days ago still has me shaking my head in wonder. I’m glad that I have nothing on my agenda today, no appointments, no deadlines. I’m ready to explore these matters further.

I’m getting closer to finishing this commission on the Royal Wulff fly pattern. It is an 8 x 10″ watercolor that has resulted in a number of new color combinations and experiments for me. It’s been a fun experience and I look forward to closing this one out and moving on to the next assignment.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Serene Day in Studio Eidolons

August 25, 2020
Working on the details of a Royal Wulff fly pattern

Ever the mutable,

Ever materials, changing, crumbling, re-cohering,

Ever the ateliers, the factories divine,           

Issuing eidólons.

Walt Whitman, “Eidólons

Buoyed by the spirit of Walt Whitman in my own atelier, I’ve enjoyed working on this commission requesting three popular fly patterns from the trout stream. The Elk Hair Caddis and Parachute Adams I’ve used many times, but I have yet to put a Royal Wulff in the water, though I must say I am loving the colors of this pattern.

Having named my studio after Whitman’s poem, I’ve been reading the piece daily, and decided today to post another segment from it. I love his reference to the “changing, crumbling, re-cohering” nature of the process I witness while working on a watercolor composition. And as for my personal working space, my imagination vacillates between the elegant historic French notion of a posh atelier similar to a show room and Andy Warhol’s notion of his working space being a factory, because he was always cranking out work for the next commission, much like an assembly line.

As for my dog, he has recently marked out a spot, designating Studio Eidolons as a comfy place to relax.

Patches has found a resting place beneath one of the drafting tables

Time has been divided today between painting and continuing the task of sorting out materials that have been stored for years, deciding what to discard, what to file, and what to store in a more orderly fashion. A master bathroom adjoining my studio has now been re-assigned for studio storage. Not only is it nice to have nearby sinks for water (instead of traveling to the kitchen) and ample counter space for lining out and stretching watercolor paper, there are now two walk-in closets and a built-in set of cabinets. Finally, all art supplies, paintings, papers, matting materials etc. are stored in closets, cabinets and a lateral file–NO MORE CRAP lying about the floor or leaning against walls!

I also found rolled up in a tube the presentation I made to my principal for what would become the first of many murals painted at Martin High School. This sketch eventually became a 15 x 50 foot cafeteria mural. With a sigh, I decided it was time to discard. So I rolled it out one last time and took a photo to store in my memory collection.

Design for a High School Cafeteria Mural

Time to get back to work. Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Saturday in the Studio Eidolons

August 22, 2020
Early Work on the Royal Wulff Pattern

I have christened my newly-developed studio space “Studio Eidolons”, inspired by Walt Whitman’s poem “Eidólons”. As mentioned in an earlier blog, I find it unfortunate that this Greek word translated “idols” has taken on a very impoverished meaning by the general public (as I perceive it). In the Greek ethos, the word referred to ideas, images, imaginings–overall a very rich word for the creative enterprise. From time to time I’ll insert a portion of this lengthy Whitman poem.

Ever the dim beginning,

Ever the growth, the rounding of the circle,

Ever the summit and the merge at last, (to surely start again,)

            Eidólons! Eidólons!

Anytime I attempt to describe my sensations while submerged in this arena of creative eros, I feel I have tossed a word salad across my blog page (without the necessary dressing). This is one such moment. But these words from Whitman I feel in a primal sense that escape the harness of my words.

After a luxurious walk through the park on this sunny Saturday morning, I entered Studio Eidolons in a spirit of expectation, and have not been disappointed. The Royal Wulff fly pattern is slowly emerging from the tip of my brushes and pencils. What began as an 8 x 10″ white void of a rectangle is slowly yielding the image of a trout fly, and my heart quickens in anticipation with each stroke of color.

I posted the details in a previous blog about the watercolor class I am teaching Monday. I am following up with a second class on Wednesday, August 26, from 2:00-5:00. The subject will be evergreens as we will paint Colorado evergreens on an 8 x 10″ stretched sheet of 90 lb. watercolor paper. All materials will be included in the $55 fee for the class. Anyone interested in signing up will need to phone Gracie Lane at (817) 468-5263. The class will be taught on location at Show Me the Monet Art Gallery, 4720 S. Cooper St., Arlington 76017. I would love to see you there. Monday’s class is the same price, same hours, and will feature a Route 66 motel painting.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remember I am not alone.

Beginning New Work in Studio Eidolons

August 21, 2020
Beginning Second Watercolor of a Dry Fly

When Leonardo was summoned by the duke, they ended up having a discussion of how creativity occurs. Sometimes it requires going slowly, pausing, even procrastinating. That allows ideas to marinate, Leonardo explained. Intuition needs nurturing. “Men of lofty genius sometimes accomplish the most when they work least,” he told the duke, “for their minds are occupied with their ideas and the perfection of their conceptions, to which they afterwards give form.

cited from Walter Isaacson’s Leonardo da Vinci

New work on a Royal Wulff fly pattern for my next commissioned watercolor has radically altered my studio habits. Inspired by recent readings in biographies of Leonardo da Vinci and Willem de Kooning, I take comfort in knowing that those two masters perfected the art of procrastination as they focused intently on the task at hand and how to execute it. Leonardo of course is known for the thousands of pages of copious notebooks he left behind. As for myself, my thousands of pages are comprised of journal entires, but not nearly as many art studio sketches and observations. Until now. For two days, I have been going through my storage drawers, extracting art supplies I haven’t used for years, most notably two large sets of Prismacolor watercolor pencils. Using the backs of watercolor paintings that failed, I have been covering the surfaces with various washes, color swatches and scribbled notes identifying the various combinations of colors I’ll need to copy this fly pattern that I’ve expanded to an 8 x 10″ photograph. I’ve also painted portions of the fly body, most notably the thorax and abdomen, studying the color patterns and trying to reproduce them as best I can. I would show the painting in progress, but the only thing I’ve completed to date is the bare hook–nothing really to write home about at this time.

Studies for the Royal Wulff project

My new studio space has surpassed all my dreams and fantasies for a place to make art. The studio is no longer crowded–I am able to work on the surfaces of two drafting tables, one library table and a rolltop desk. The best part of my art library is now in this same room, and the adjoining bathroom has two sinks, a long counter, two walk-in closets and built in cabinets offering an abundance of storage space. All my past watercolors, prints, pre-cut mats and drawing papers are now tucked inside a five-drawer lateral file cabinet for easy retrieval. I’ve only waited thirty years for such a space and cannot believe the day has finally arrived. I so look forward to sharing my art life with you in the pages ahead.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Early Morning Slog

August 11, 2020
Early Morning Reading before Painting

Life belongs not to those who know, but those who discover.

Le Corbusier

My arguments with myself are long and wearisome. They involve theories that are not writable by me at least.

After all this vivid and intense introspection I have determined upon a couse that takes nerve above all, concentration and a long hard fight.

N. C. Wyeth, letter to his mother dated January 25, 1907

The early morning reading over coffee has been so satisfying that I hesitate to lay it aside. But I have commissions to complete and the patrons have been so patient. I owe them a respectable turnaround time. I have set a self-imposed deadline for the weekend, and believe I’ll get these done. Then, I have only three more to complete.

My love for N. C. Wyeth runs down a different track than my sentiments for his more famous son Andrew. The son has had the most profound influence on my subjects and overall technique, but I was never ingratiated by his disdainful remarks about those who spend too much time reading books. Thus, I find most of Andrew’s interviews very unsatisfying, while on the other hand, find myself continually bowled over by N. C.’s letters and papers left behind. N. C. was a lover of Thoreau and Emerson and showed an exquisite literary flourish in his own writings. His allusions to classical music are also refreshing. I grieve over the tragedy of N. C.’s end. He never reached the mark he wished to achieve as a painter, always being tagged as an illustrator. Though he achieved great wealth through his illustrating career, he grew increasingly morose in his final years because he could not make his mark as a free-lance artist, instead watched his son make his mark on history. Of course when I read I am always measuring my own life against the standards of the heroes I follow. I’m extremely happy that as a teacher I was able to earn an income that supported my habit, and now retired, have plenty of time to study and pursue art. Probably years ago I had dreams of being a well-known artist, but certainly found a good measure of sobriety in finding satisfaction merely with having an ability to make art and enjoy it so.

The two commissions that have my attention the rest of this week involve the one above and below. (Above): This is a home the patron wants to remember through an original painting. It is requiring a great measure of paintstaking detail, but I’m finding satisfaction in the process, slow as it may be. (Below): This is my first attempt at painting a trout fly of this size and scale. In past paintings, I have put a sprinkle of flies into still lifes, and the images of the flies have been close to actual size. Now I am called upon to present one in great detail. The process is requiring a number of disciplines I haven’t pursued in awhile, but so far, they all seem to be working out fine.

I suppose it is also time to return to painting fishing lures. I did a number of 5 x 7″ bass lures a few years back. They all sold rather quickly, and now one of them has been published on the cover of a new novel. I just received it in the mail yesterday and am posting a copy of it.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Studio Solitude

August 6, 2020
Early Start in the Studio

Very well then, as you please. Withdraw from the world, wrap yourself in mystery, I won’t stop you.”

Emile Zola, The Masterpiece

In recent communications with my artist friends, I note the common thread of our talks–the coronavirus has given us the excuse to avoid public activity and to indulge in the delicious solitude of the studio, doing what we love best–exploring possibilities in art.

My plan is to show current paintings in progress as they take shape, but at this point they are still in the very early stages of construction. One of my commissions is to paint trout flies, 8 x 10″, something I’ve wanted to attempt for at least ten years but never got around to doing. And I must say, the experience has so withdrawn me into a monastic state, that I feel the taunt posted above, Zola needling Cezanne about his need for privacy.

Over the past two days, so many ideas have surged through me that I’m wanting to engage in multiple experiments. In this little project, I’ve been pulling out all the stops–spritzing the paper and adding salt and stale bread crumbs for texturing, using fine, pointed brushes, sharpened graphite and colored pencils, watercolor pencils, tech pens, masquig pens–the works! And I feel like a kid in the sandbox attempting his first intricate sand castle with multiple stories, corridors and labyrinth configurations. Right now, I’m trying to solve the puzzle of overlapping hackles–I’ve been opening my art books to study closely the way Albrecht Dürer and Andrew Wyeth handled long stem grasses in transparent watercolor. It’s wonderful having my art library in the same room as my studio, and various work stations to pursue scattered yet related projects. I am feeling confident that these experiments are going to pay off, and I’ll continue to post photos as this painting develops.

The major problem I encountered with the trout fly commission was finding photos of flies large enough to scrutinize the details. Images I Googled off the Internet and printed always pixilated horribly when I enlarged them. How surprised I was when I took my own smart phone (Samsung Galaxy S10+) and photographed a size 12 elk hair caddis from my own fly box, cleaned up the image on my laptop, enlarged it to 8 x 10″ and printed it on my own printer. The image is sharp and the color is good. So, on my drafting table, I have both the 8 x 10″ photo I made, and the actual tiny fly lying there for me to study.

I have decided to spend all day Saturday in The Gallery at Redlands in Palestine. I have missed working there and so look forward to seeing my friends again. If you’re in the area, I’d love to see you. I should be in the gallery by 10 and will stay through the dinner hour that evening before returning home.

Gotta get back to work! Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Hunkering Down during the Heat

July 10, 2020
Beginning an 8 x 10″ watercolor

Half the world wants to be like Thoreau at Walden, worrying about the noise of traffic on the way to Boston; the other half use up their lives being part of that noise. I like the second half.

Franz Kline, Abstract Expressionist painter

The past week has been rather quiet–a long road trip, and then several days of relaxation in deep west Texas. A string of 100-degree days has kept us mostly inside, but west Texas morning temperatures hover in the comfortable seventies. This lovely morning was no exception when I stepped out shortly after daylight and walked around a quiet neighborhood, enjoying the gaiety of a myriad of birds in the trees and admiring the clouds strewn across a bright cerulean sky.

Last evening I came across the Franz Kline quote posted above while reading Jacobson’s biography on Robert Motherwell, and it made me lay the book aside and ponder for a spell. In response to Kline, I have to acknowledge that my professional life was lived out in the second half of his description, with all that noise. I cannot say I would have preferred it that way, but it’s what fell to my lot. My professional portion was spent in the public sphere, while all the while I wished to be in the other half, the Walden half. Now, with deep gratitude, I find myself in the Walden half.

The first week of our journey was relaxing, much time spent in leisure reading and making some attempts at watercolor. With no appointments, it was nice to let the days flow by at a comfortable pace. Today we landed in a home where we’ve been asked to dog sit a few days. So I guess I’ll now introduce you to the menagerie.

Hazel, helping me edit

Hazel, a Jack Russell terrier, never relaxes. She needs a job. This is the only dog I’ve ever known who fixates on any lighted screen, jumping up and down in front of the living room smart TV, settling on my shoulder to read my phone, or in the above picture, staring into my laptop. As I work on this blog, she is supervising.

Hazel staring into my phone for a selfie

Bo is as large as I am, and usually finds a quiet place next to me when I work in one place for an extended time.

Bo, asleep at my feet under the table
This is our Patches, finishing his morning coffee

Patches is our own rescue dog, so he will always be nearby. He likes the cream residue at the bottom of Sandi’s coffee mug. Every morning he lingers close by for that special moment.

Guido, the senior citizen of the pack, sleeps all day in this chair

This old boy is a genuine sweetheart. I don’t believe he can hear now, but he awoke from his slumber as I approached to take the photo, so he is still alert.

Peanut, emerging from her nap

Peanut is Miss Personality, always wanting to sleep next to me wherever I work. She only asks to be against a warm body.

I already miss Eli, the Yorkie. We stayed with him all week until this morning. (with Patches)

I always hate saying good-bye to Eli. He has been a delight all week, continually wrestling with Patches, but always willing to pause long enough to pose for a photo. He is the only one among the dogs above who is not in this space currently. As I type this, all the others are in the same room with me, but quiet.

I have started two new watercolors, both 8 x 10″ My intention was to visit the canyons for some plein air work while out here, but with daily temperatures ranging from 105-110, I don’t think so. I have a backlog of compositions saved up over the years that I’ve wanted to paint, so I’m going to take a crack at them.

With the above painting, I’m making use of a reference photo taken years ago (before smart phones took over). I’m standing in the middle of the South Fork of the Rio Grande in Colorado. I have had the photo framed and hanging in my home till I took it down while packing for this trip last week. I determined I would attempt a painting before returning to rehang the picture.

Challenges I’ve avoided for years I am finally facing–(1) the armature of Colorado evergreens along with the actual colors of their needles both in the sun as well as the shadows, and (2) the dynamics of a rapidly flowing mountain stream. Both problems are making me focus more than ever before. And if I don’t get this one right, then I’m confident I will continue trying until I get closer to the truth. At any rate, while painting it, all the luxurious memories of days spent in that stream are returning to me. During these triple-digit-temperature days I certainly would love to stand in one of those cold streams, waiting for a trout to rise.

Hazel has gotten bored with my typing. She now sleeps in a chair nearby. And as I look up, I see all the dogs, littered like carcasses all about the living room. Nap time.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.