One of the reasons I like to travel is to get new inspiration for my art. The colors that are prevalent in a location are important to me. I just returned from a week in Montana horseback riding, hiking and relaxing at Pine Butte Guest Ranch in Choteau which is in the middle of nowhere. I live in New Mexico where the colors are vibrant. The rocks and cliffs are red and the sky is cerulean blue. I frequently go to France where the soft, rolling landscape is 35 shades of green with a muted blue sky.
Montana’s terrain is quite unique. First, the landscape was carved by glaciers millions of years ago. This makes for a contrast between high mountains and long prairies and valleys. Many of the rock and mountain formations were unique shades of gray. The prairies were a soft green. I love trees and I appreciated the number of aspen trees in the area.
While I was at the ranch I learned that there was a staff member who was willing to give watercolor lessons if anyone was interested. I immediately thought, “No, not for me.” I like the thick application of acrylic and oil paint. My very first art class had been a watercolor class. The class was not particularly successful, primarily because I knew nothing of shapes, perspective or composition. It took me a few hours of horseback riding at the ranchbefore I thought, “Why wouldn’t I take a watercolor class?” I did, and loved it thanks to the guidance of Sheryl Mink, a very talented artist as well as being the ranch gardener. Here are my very quick attempts to appreciate watercolor. And I do. I many even pursue it.