During the months of August and September we made a big loop from Oregon though Montana, Colorado, and back to Oregon. We stopped in many places along the way, but our longest stop was the five weeks we spent in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. We used that as a base for many expeditions: hiking and picnicking, fishing and painting, or – best of all – fishing, painting, and picnicking.
The painting above was done on one of these best of all days. My companion fished in the meandering headwaters of the Bear River, while I painting uphill. We had to abandon both activities when a big thunderstorm blew up, so we retreated to the car, where we picnicked, and watched the rain and lightening.
When we were exploring new places on foot, I carried only watercolors, and really began to enjoy just sitting down in a new site, and painting one of these little studies. The work is so different from that developed when looking at photographs.