Making the Best of an Emergency

"Afternoon at the Firehole"
oil on linen panel, 8" x 10"
When travelling, I have the constant urge to paint. I suppose it is the visual adventures that occur around every corner that excites the urge.

We are in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and touring the area to include the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. The internal summoning to the easel was gaining volume as was my frustration as the days have passed. I MUST PAINT ! Inside, I am thinking “If only for a few moments . . .!”

Yesterday, four of us (two couples) were driving through Yellowstone National Park, which is a doubly amazing place because there are so many unusual sights . . .erupting geysers . . . .steam bubbling from the ground . . . .magnificent rivers . . .Buffalo . . .Elk . . Moose . . . .Antelope. . . .gorgeous meadows . . . .waterfalls and much, much more. To top it off, it is the peak of Spring here. The grasses and wildflowers are lush and in full bloom. What an incredible time!!!

And so, I stopped to paint . . . .and you better paint FAST because there are other people who are waiting for you, Mike . . . . .so git r done . . .and don’t dawdle.

Standing in a 15 mph wind with gusts to 35 mph in the gorgeous light of the late afternoon, I opened my pochade box to find the paint had slid around inside of it and made a horrendous mess. There is paint everywhere but where it belongs. While cleaning the box and preparing it to paint, the wind is grabbing the easel and attempting to throw it into the meadow. There is buffalo fur all over the trees next to where I stand . . . . . .which means this is probably their bedding place . . .better watch out! The group is wanting to eat, to see other sites, but I must paint. So I did. Quickly, without remorse or reconsideration of a single stroke. Just get it done and do it quick.

What an absolute joy to look across the meadow, across the river and paint all that magnificent light !!! Even if it is nothing more that a fast arrangement of smudges and smears. I must shove the doubts away and take what I get in this emergency. Niiiiice! :-)

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