Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Artist's in the Back Country - Sierra National Park

Christin and I have recently returned from our summer vacation.  We took Artie (our RV) on a road trip for ten days.  First to Tuolumne Meadows for 4 days of painting and hiking.  We drove next to Sequoia National Park where we were part of an invited group called "Artist's in the Back Country" that was assembled by the Sequoia Parks Foundation for the purpose of gathering painters, poets, photographers, scientists and other creative people to produce images, poems and prose about the place and the experience.

Tuolumene Meadows is one of my favorite spots on earth.  It has high mountain air, clear nights, a beautiful river, extraordinary hiking trails, privacy and spectacular mountain scenery.  What more could a painter ask for.  Each day we did a morning painting, came back to Artie for lunch and rest, then out to the river or meadow to paint the late day until sundown.  


We left Yosemite's high country and drove to Sequoia National Park.  We congregated at a Boy Scouts of America Camp with 3 other painters Paul Kratter, Bill Cone and Jeff Horn - a poet... Bill Keener, a writer/photographer... David Robertson, a photographer... Bob Watters, the former Chief Park Ranger at Sequoia... Bill Tweed, our organizer, former park ranger, photographer and development head of UC Merced... Armando Quintero, Laurie Hoyle... SPF board member and three chefs... Anna Lisa, Tya and Sally... our camp host... Margie and various other guests dropping in for a visit during the trip.  This was the 4th year of the ABC trip.  It's purpose is to gather distinguished creative people together for a future promotional project that was yet to be determined.  The idea came from the old days of pioneering the area where photographers, painters, preservationists and like minded people documented the Sierras and petitioned congressional leaders to establish a National Park system.  We were honored to be part of the group.  Conversations ranged from sensitive artistic discoveries, to political assesments of our government's agenda to simple humor.  What a wonderful bunch of people.  We ate and drank like royalty.  I know we have made new friends that surely will pop up in our lives from time to time.


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