A Personal Journal of Art
This WebLog or "Blog" is a journal of my personal
experience with creating, observing, research, musing and other information
about art. Note that dates are in reverse order.
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
Driving back by the Glacier Hotel,
it was now embraced with snow.
The Garden Wall, now covered in
the first snow of the season.
NATIONAL PARK DAY 5
We were scheduled to fly home today and had originally planned
to retrace our steps over Logan Pass to Kalispell. Although the
snow had stopped, it was still ominous, and the pass still closed.
To meet our flight in Kalispell, we had to drive around the south
end of Glacier National Park, making a loop to where we had started
Driving back by Glacier
Park Lodge, it was now embraced in snow. We also had a few minutes
to drive back up close to Going
to the Sun Road and see the new snow sprinkled along the Garden
Wall. The swirling clouds and dusted snow was quite a change from
the sunny view just a few days before!
Even though the trip did not turn out well for doing plein air
painting, I took 267 photos which will provide more than enough
material for years to come. After all, I have done a dozen paintings
from only 36 photos I took over 20 years ago!
Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Trying to start a painting at a
Many Glacier overlook.
Snow at Logan Pass.
Sunrift Gorge. You may notice it
is a little blurry from the snow falling.
Baring Falls. Again, it is blurry
from the snow falling.
NATIONAL PARK DAY 4
Waking up to snow and low 30 degree temperatures, it sure didn’t
look to be a good outdoor painting day. We headed south to our next
evening destination, St Mary.
Planned stops along the way was Many Glacier. I hoped to finally
do a plein air painting there come rain, snow, or shine. The temperature
kept dropping and more snow started falling. In spite of it all,
I set up on a vista just above the Many
Glacier Hotel, which had already closed for the season. The
gusts, snow, and 20 degree temperatures was too much. Since acrylics
are water based and freeze, it was no use. No painting today.
We decided to move on and head south to St Mary. The snow was off
and on so we thought a drive back up to Logan Pass from the East
side was in order. By the time we arrived at the pass, it had turned
into a snow blizzard. What a sight! We could not see more than a
few hundred feet, but the view was spectacular! The bases of the
towering peaks disappeared upward like ghosts in the night. We jumped
out and took a picture at the Logan Pass sign.
Coming back off the pass, we stopped at Sunrift Gorge and Baring
Falls. Hiking through the snow flakes the third mile to Baring Falls
was a blast.
The snow kept pounding on us so we retreated to our room, lounges
and gift shops at the St Mary
Lodge. As soon as we arrived, we not surprisingly heard that
Logan Pass had just been closed!
This was the first lodge we stayed at which had television in the
room. The previous three nights, in the grand lodges of the park,
there are no TV's! Although we never missed the television, it was
good to catch up on the news!
That evening while sitting around the fire at the lodge, we met
a couple who had come over the pass around the time were were there
just before it closed. They said that morning it had been sunny
on the western side of the pass, and hit snow towards the top.
Monday, September 15, 2003
Running Eagle Falls
Prince of Wales Hotel
Another shot of the hotel.
NATIONAL PARK DAY 3
As predicted by the weatherman, we awoke to a “socked in”,
overcast, and drizzly sky. The forecast was for much of the same
all day. Not a great day for painting!
We went up to Two Medicine, and did a short hike to Running Eagle
Falls. I had painted this falls before and wanted to see it again.
Running Eagle Falls is a highlight of a trip to Two Medicine. In
the spring, water rushes over the upper fall so thick that the lower
fall is completely hidden. Later in summer, as flows decrease, the
water seems to change course and flow almost exclusively out of
the lower fall. It's easy to see why this waterfall used to be named
Our final destination for the day was Waterton
Lake, Canada, and the unique Prince
of Wales Hotel. The hotel sits on a knoll overlooking Water
Lake. One of the most photographed hotels in the world, Prince
of Wales was built in 1927.
We were greeted by bellboys in kilts, and of course had to ask
"the" question. I finally got an answer! They wear nothing
underneath when just with men, but if they are going to be with
women, wear something underneath.
We had heard you could find bears along the Red Rock Parkway, just
outside of town. Sure enough, just a few miles up the road we encountered
a brown bear lazily munching berries close to the road.
We drove on up the parkway to Red Rock Canyon. A short hike to
Blakiston Falls looked tempting, so we started down the trail. Blakiston
Falls, although not large, was one of the more pleasant falls we
had encountered. My companion, Don, thought it was the prettiest
falls we had seen so far.
Later in the day, we drove up Akamina Parkway to Cameron Lake.
It was getting colder and a little more snow, so decided it was
time to head back to the Prince
of Wales Hotel.
Sunday, September 14, 2003
Looking down on the Garden Wall
and Going to the Sun Road.
One of the locals.
Yours Truly at Hidden Lake Overlook.
St Mary Falls
The magnificent Glacier Park Hotel
Lobby of the Glacier Park Hotel.
Notice the pillars made of huge Douglas Fir tree trunks.
NATIONAL PARK DAY 2
Today was planned to be a big day as we headed up Going
to the Sun Road and Logan Pass.
This is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular drives in the country.
I had been here 20 years ago and the pass was closed due to avalanche.
This time it was open & turning into a beautiful day.
The itch to stop and do a painting was great. However, cloudy weather
and rain was predicted for the next several days, so we decided
to cover as much ground as we could while the sun was out. Photographs
would have to do for later paintings.
to the Sun Road transverses the Garden Wall and up over Logan
Pass. The Garden Wall is a a sheer, knife-edged arête (commonly
pronounced "ah RHET"), which extends for miles and many
thousands of feet high.
After arriving at the pass, we hiked 1.5 miles up to the Hidden
Lake overlook. Along the way a mountain goat and wolverine showed
The view at Hidden Lake overlook to the Southwest was un describable.
Located under Reynolds Mountain, the lake is nestled in towering
cliffs and peaks. The backlit lake was a shimmering blue in the
ochre alpine meadows and gray granite wilderness.
Heading further east over Going
to the Sun Road, our next destination was the trail to St. Mary
Falls. The falls are about 1.5 miles off the road and an easy hike.
The falls cataract several times through a rocky gorge and ends
in a deep bluish green pool. I rarely use the brilliant thalo green
and blue colors, but mentally made a note that was how intense the
Our destination for the night was Glacier
Park Lodge. Another grand lodge built by the early railroaders
in 1913, it sits just across from the train depot. The lodge was
a destination for many easterners coming to the park via train.
As guests enter Glacier Park Lodge, they pause with awe at the enormous
Douglas Fir trees that surround its majestic lobby and realize why
it is commonly called the "Big Tree Hotel".
Saturday, September 13, 2003
Lake McDonald Lodge
NATIONAL PARK DAY 1
Glacier National Park has
been called the “Crown Jewel of America”. It has also
been referred to as the “Switzerland of America”.
I last visited this wonderland 20 years ago and always wanted to
return. I have probably done a dozen paintings from just a few rolls
of film taken during that brief trip.
Some months ago, a friend and in-law, also named “Don”
and I decided to take a “husbands” tour of the park.
Just us two…no wife, kids or family. We love our wifes and
family, but wanted to be completely free to move fast, hike lots,
and see as much as we can. Of course, it had to be a painting trip,
We flew into Kalispell, Montana, today, hopped in our rental car
and headed to Glacier. We
checked into Lake McDonald
Lodge, one of the grand lodges of the early 1900’s built
by the railroad magnates of the time.
The lodge was built in 1913 and Charles
M. Russell, the famous western artist was rumored to have scratched
the pictographs on the massive fireplace in the lobby.
There was time left in the day to drive up the road and do our first
sight seeing. We visited McDonald Falls, and walked up “Trail
of the Cedars” to Avalanche Creek and Gorge. I didn’t
take my paints as we had 4 more days on our trip.
Sunday, July 20, 2003
After a day and a half driving back across the hot
desert, we finally arrived home. The natural air conditioning of
the San Francisco Bay area felt quite good after spending a week
Friday, July 18, 2003
My easel on a back road in Sedona,
The study, which took about an hour
on my easel.
On Friday, I finally escaped for a time to do a painting. A good
spot was just a mile up Schnebley
Hill Road. The view up Schnebly
Hill Road is spectacular. It eventually turns into a dirt road,
but is passable by any car. If you ever visit Sedona, be sure to
take a quick side trip up this road.
I painted one of the spectacular red rock buttes, but wasn't sure
of the name. My main goal was to capture the actual colors of the
Schnebley Hill Road.
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
Grand Canyon, Arizona.
We took a day trip from Sedona to the Grand Canyon. I have only
done several paintings of the canyon, but after this trip, have
to do more! Although I did not have my paints, lots of pictures
may contribute to a future studio painting.
Monday, July 14, 2003
Sunday, July 13, 2003
Sedona, Arizona is nestled
in the midst of 'red-rock' country. It has been called the most
beautiful place in America,
We left for Sedona today to
attend a family reunion. Although it is rather warm this time of
year there, we all have air conditioning in our RV's, so figured
we would survive.
Although this was not a painting trip, of course I could not pass
up bringing my equipment to paint the beautiful area.
The first leg of the trip was from San Jose, CA to Laughlin, NV.
We had to cross the searing Mojave desert, and even it was having
a heat wave! As I gassed up in Needles, CA, they told me it had
reached 123 degrees there that day!
Prior: Apr-Jun 2003
Next: Oct-Dec 2003