Mountain Bluebird, Yellowstone National Park Watercolor
Breakfast at Colter Bay Campsite
Camping at Colter Bay, WY. May 23, 2013
For most of the day we were driving around the northern part of Yellowstone National Park near Mamoth Springs. There is so much to see in the park that you really could use a week just to cover the main sights. That afternoon we headed south to Grand Teton National Park which is just ten miles south of the Yellowstone southern park border.
My first view of the forty mile long Teton Range was breath taking. I thought that we might see some interesting and beautiful places on this first leg of our journey to Boston but this was amazing.
The watercolor painting I have done of the Mountain Bluebird was painted from a photograph that Lyn took. We found that these birds were elusive and it was difficult to just get a good photo let alone sketch this bird from real life. The sketch of our campsite is typical of my loose sketch book style. This style of loose drawing is a lot of fun and offers a nice change from doing a more formal watercolor.
Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park
Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park
West Yellowstone, WY, USA May 22,2013
As we drove in from the west side of Yellowstone National Park, we passed Tilted Lake and encountered our first bison. The bison are grazing near the road and don’t pay too much attention to you.
That night we camped at Madison Campground at 6,800 ft. We set up camp early and drove to Lower, Midway and Upper Geyser Basins. The board walks offer a chance to get close to the geysers and feel their heat and steam.
From am artistic point of view I was amazed by the variation in colors. I found that painting some of the thermals offered the opportunity to work with some colors that I don’t always see painting the Canadian landscape. Some of the thermal pools have this beautiful turquoise color a long with bright oranges and violet.
As a final thought for today I have found that so far this trip has offered a lot of different potential scenes for me to paint and sketch. I think it is good to try painting subject matter that is new or out side of my comfort zone. The sketch of Old Faithful was my first attempt at painting a geyser.
Hoodoo’s at Writing-on-Stone, Watercolour
Mule Deer Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, Watercolour and pencil
Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park May 19, 2013
Leaving Banff, Alberta; we drove to Calgary and then south to Milk River, which is very close to the US. border and Montana. This would be our last stop in Canada before heading south to Yellow Stone National Park.
Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is a small nature preserve (18 sq. km.) that straddles the Milk River. It contains the greatest concentration of rock art on the North American Great Plains. We spent the night camped here near the river. The next morning I was up early to paint and managed to do a couple of good sketches. The Mule Deer that live in the camp ground make easy subjects as they allow you to get reasonably close.
I was also fascinated by the sand stone formations called “Hoodoo’s” that make an interesting subject to paint and sketch. Some of these formations look like other worldly creatures. The Blackfoot Peoples considered this place very sacred and were probably the ones who created many of the rock carvings and paintings.
The Castle in the Rockies, Banff. May 18th, 2013
We were back on the trans Canada Highway heading east to Banff, Alberta today. Lyn and I lived in Banff from 2000 to 2004 and so as we are driving along past so many familiar places it was easy to reminisce about our experiences.
The title of today’s blog is a reference to The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel that was built in the 19th century as one of Canada’s grand railway hotels. It is nestled at the foot of Sulfur Mountain very close to the natural sulfur hot springs and a short walk from downtown Banff. The hotel was built by the Canadian Pacific Railway and was advertised as an international tourist resort.
The watercolor sketch of the Banff Springs Hotel was done on location at a Place called “Surprise Corner” on Tunnel Mountain Drive. It offers an excellent view of Sulfur Mountain and the hotel. The other two sketches are of Cascade Mountain and The Sawback Range. The sketch of Cascade Mountain is a less typical view and is usually seen in photo’s as the back ground to a picture of Banff Avenue. “Rain Storm over the Sawback Range” was also painted on location just west of Banff on the 1A Highway that is a great alternative road to take if you want to go to Lake Louise from Banff.
Cascade Mountain, Banff, Canada
The Sawback Range in Banff National Park, Canada