We pull ourselves out of bed at 8 am. We are having a hard time finding the energy we need to continue the pace we started with. We talk about the fact that we have not had a day off or any down time since before we left for this trip. We have been pushing ourselves hard both physically and mentally.

Since we got here we have painted every moment that we are not eating, sleeping, or doing chores. It is getting grueling but we both feel strongly that we must make the most of what painting time we have.

John has asked us to provide some time-lapse snippets for the video he will create. We talk about the options. I want to go back to the trail scene where we were the day before and do the same scene larger since I felt it was successful. Gini wants to continue working on the second painting that she had started. So it’s back down the trail to the same location.

Photo of Gini andher gear

Gini loaded with her gear for another day of painting.

We get to our location and I realize I brought the wrong-sized board for the painting I want to do. I hurry back to the cabin where I’ve left my extra supplies but I can’t find the right-sized board so I have to make another work. Arrrggghhh! The trials and tribulations of a plein air artist! I hurry back, yelling “Hey Bear” all the way. I get set up and start the time-lapse recording.



It’s even hotter today—we can’t believe it. The wind is blowing but not too strongly. I was thinking this second version of the painting would go more quickly which is why I wanted to do it for the time-lapse. I should know by now that that rarely happens. With a larger-sized board, it takes more time and needs more detail than the 8” x 6” that I did yesterday.


Photo of Francesca Droll painting

Painting a larger version of the same trail scene. Please visit francescadroll.com/2-sides/ to view the video.


We work for 2 hours and I’m only about half done. Gini is finished working on her piece. The sun has moved and I can’t keep myself, my easel, and my iPhone in the shade. Once again, I’m holding my umbrella against the wind.


Photo of Gini Ogle painting.

Gini continuing to develop her painting of the day before.

We start to pack I up and hear a voice. There is a lone cowboy on the trail with his horse. Of course, we have taken over the whole trail not expecting anyone to come by. He waits patiently while we get most of our gear well off the trail. No small feat since we are on the side of a cliff and there isn’t much room to maneuver.

Photo of Francesca on the trail.

This shows how I’m practically on top of the trail. Just to the left of that skinny path, by a couple of feet, is a drop off down to the river 50 feet below.

We pack up quickly and move as far away on the upside of the trail. The horse’s eye rolls as he moves by—we talk in soothing tones so he doesn’t spook. It’s only after the cowboy has disappeared around the bend that we realize it would have been a great photo. The cowboy in his turquoise shirt, jeans, and cowboy hat riding his chestnut down the trail. Missed opportunity—darn!


Photo of 3 wildflowers.

Wildflowers in abundance!

We head back and I’m snapping reference photos of the wildflowers. Thank goodness, it’s cooler in the cabin than outside where my thermometer says “85” in the shade.

We snack a bit and then totally wiped out, we lay down and drift off for awhile. After an hour, we both try to get up and get motivated. Gini has this great stuff called “Thieves,” an interesting name for peppermint aromatherapy. We both sniff a handful and amazingly, it revives us both. We are ready for the rest of the afternoon…