Rocky Mountain National Park
Dropped off the girls again and with a full day to work in sunny, 60+ degree temps, I committed to the drive and went to Estes. Total roundtrip drive time was three hours, but total painting time was four. As long as a work/activity time exceeds the roundtrip drive time it feels permissible. I made another three watercolors, finishing the book I started last Fall. Like yesterday painting outside felt really natural. The first painting was from a campsite in Moraine Park, the view of Longs over the moraine and the valley below. The valley grasses were glowing and golden, with the moraine mostly in shadow, a heavier, linear mass. Longs looked more horizontal than I remember, but still wonderfully complicated and simple at the same time. I should come here with more time! Battled some wind and the sun directly behind the mountain, but I feel I got it mostly right.
Next I pulled over on Bear Lake Road and wandered into the trees. I found a perfect rock to sit on, with a view of Longs and several interesting things in the foreground. It was complicated, and I ended up tossing the book several feet in frustration at some point. Took a break and ate a sandwich and proceeded to finish it as best I could.
Drove to Bear Lake. It was crowded, even though it's only March, so I didn't even stop the car, looped back around and down. With only about 45 minutes to spare, I pulled over again near Moraine Park and walked in past a few intentional burn piles to a view of an enormous, house-sized boulder on the slope. This would have to do. I tried my best and got it mostly right, but generally felt lackluster once dry.
My big dilemma is the Longs Peak idea. Do I commit to it? Something like Hokusai? There is a lot of potential for great work. However I'm also pulled to work on some Antarctic images. But that is an entirely separate body in itself. I can picture them both, they are both worthy, but cannot be made simultaneously. This year it's one or the other.