Creativity: It's hard to sketch in the wind

Ever since the sun crashed into earth this week, I've taken the opportunity to go through photos/drawings from our trip out to Oregon.  Amazing time! I feel fortunate that we were able to take some time to do a road trip across the southwest into the northwest and top it off with several days in Oregon. Of course, there were parts of Utah and Wyoming that looked like places where some higher spirit channeled some spit-fire rage onto the land leaving only salt and scrub behind. But even in those places, the unexpectedness--the palest of blues at the horizon, the stratification of cliffs and hillsides highlighted by changing colors, and the way the road really did seem to disappear into the future--has stayed with me.


I didn't do as much drawing as I had hoped. Our camper, at 7ft long and that's being generous, became quite a bit smaller with two furry creatures vying for the best spots.



But that's my own fault. I got distracted by reading good books, walking the dogs, and generally hanging out.  I did get one sketch in with the intention of painting it but right now I'm enjoying the learning process of sketching.  The paper was meant for water color but it was a fun surface to sketch out the scene. The wind was pushing mist onto the shore, the leaves and bushes were tousled and it took a bit of effort to keep the pad from flying off but I managed to get something down on paper. I still have a ways to go but it feels good to keep practicing.

Creativity: On the road and horizon guardrails

We'd been on the road for a couple of days and it had not been easy driving. Some people derive inspiration and solace from the dessert. I just imagine what a horrible death it must be to die from thirst wandering around sand dunes trying to find a way back home; the terrain seems specifically designed to kill you. The area above Denio, NV, around Blizzard Gap, took my breath away both from terror and the simple stark beauty of deep valleys and sheer rock meeting a dark and turbulent looking horizon.

Blizzard Gap is a steep, sheer drive with the horizon acting as a guard rail. Whether driving up it or down, and I've done both, is to operate against all instinct of self-preservation.  The drop offs are immediate and unforgiving. I think there must have been some higher good or spirit because I did not encounter another approaching car. I'm not sure my lizard brain could have coped with accommodating another metal canister trying to traverse a thin ribbon of asphalt in the sky. One of us would have had to get out of our cars and simply continue the journey on foot.


The horizon shines blue and then reaches out white, blue and then finally storm clouds that darken the sky. Of course, I'm only now able to fully appreciate the colors and the sky and the land. At the time, I clearly felt the right lane was too close to the edge.