We settle down to paint. Gini opts for the rapids at the confluence.
I’ve checked out the area and taken some photos. One immediately captures my attention. The composition has strong diagonal lines of light and shadow on the opposite bank and the dancing & leaping rapids in the foreground.
From my log, I can sit and paint the view checking the photo to remind myself of the light patterns. The light changes so quickly and the shadows come and go as the sun moves high overhead.
My exercise of the day before with the submerged rocks really helps in the foreground and I use the same colors but with more abstract strokes. I remind myself to keep it loose, not too much detail. Also, “exaggerate the effects of light!” We are both totally engaged and paint for a couple of hours.
During our painting session, the Boy Scouts of the day before come by, one by one, in their inflatable rafts heading downstream. They all look happy and smile and wave at us. It’s good to see that they accomplished their goals and are having the time of their lives.
We break for lunch and then go back to painting. We both get started on another scene. Gini’s painting is a quick one—only 30 minutes. Still sitting on the log, I turn myself almost 180 degrees so that I’m now facing up Granite Creek.
I have a view of the river coming toward me and joining the middle fork. There are mountains in the background that I can’t see with the trees so tall in front. But I have an “artist license” and I put them in anyway.
I work on the painting for awhile but I don’t finish it. I just get a block in done and give it the first pass working on adding elements and developing value.
Every day, I feel like I’m starting to get to know this river and canyon and all that is part of it better and better. One really does get an intimate knowledge of a place when you’re completely immersed in it. You feel the spirit of it, the unpredictability of it, the hardness and the softness of it, the senses are always on alert and the bear spray is at the ready, there are little challenges and small successes. One feels truly alive!
We pack it up and head back to the cabin. This time we stay in the dry river bed that follows along the side of the river and is behind the willows. We find an easy but hidden path back without having to skirt the willows again. Cool beans! We can easily get to the confluence from the cabin in 10 minutes. We’ll be back!
We make an easy dinner of salad and sausages and drink our daily beer while the coals are burning down in the fire pit. We eat and drink wine and share stories of our past. We are developing a life-long friendship and enjoy each other so much!
Finally we head up to the cabin and get ready for bed—and I sink gratefully into sleep!
Animals we saw today:
Indian Paint Brush
Sandwort (we think)