Decker, a cheeky steed
Late August of this summer I found myself incredibly fortunate to be invited on a f horse trek into the Wallowa Wilderness area in Eastern Oregon. I will admit, I was a little nervous because I am not a great camper - however was easily swayed because the trip involved camping with horses. Waking up to horses in the mountains - OK, sign me up! 👍
Packing the mules, and the view from the top of the world
Our trusty guides packed four mules with our gear for the week and we headed up the trail out of Joseph toward base camp at Aneroid Lake. I had requested a safe-kind mount (I don't do the wild ones anymore!) and that is exactly the horse I got. wonderful quarterhorse type, by the name of Arlo. By the end of the week, I renamed him Saint Arlo. On one of our trails out from camp, we rode up to the top of a glorious pass overlooking miles of Wallowa wilderness. Then we had to come down. Admitly I was screaming inside as Arlo and the rest of the horses carefully picked their way down the trail, over rocks and shifting dirt till we got back to level land again. I gave Arlo an apple when we got back to camp - he stared at it blankly....it was then that our wrangler Ryan, told me that Arlo was possibly a roping horse and likely never had treats before...well, time for me to corrupt Arlo!! It was the cutest process. I bit off small chunks of the apple and stuffed them in the corner of his mouth. He chewed carefully and cautiously, and then I saw a little glint light up in his eye...hmmm, that was pretty good...we did the same with a carrot...then we moved on to bigger apple slices, and by the end of the week, he learned how to bite into a fresh, whole apple! He liked it !!
Arlo and his soft kind, apple eyes :)
Base camp - Aneroid Lake
Over the course of the week, we heard wolves in the morning, swam in the lake (though, I was the only one brave enough for the temps) and learned how to fly fish with the help of my friend Marty. Having a base camp with the horses also meant that I had time to sketch the horses from life. To make my life a little easier, I bought a watersoluble gouache set. While I was not totally proficient in the media, it proved easier than dealing with solvents in the wilderness.
Gouache and ink sketches of Arlo and Penguin
I will never forget my memories here and would do it all again in a heartbeat - camping and all!!
Yin and Yang, 11" x 14" oil on cradled panel
Lastly, I can proudly announce I have had two pieces juried into the 2023 Tubac Center of the Arts. Members show in Tubac Arizona. I have traveled to this sweet, a village a few times now to participate in workshops at the Tubac School of Fine Art . I am looking forward to seeing this show in person. Accepted work was an oil painting Yin and Yang and mixed media work, Antithesis.
Antithesis, 12" x 12" oil and cold wax medium on panel.