I took a quick trip to the Olympic peninsula to see a rain forest and the Pacific Ocean. It was a stunning place. I didn't have a lot of time for sketching, especially since the rainforest was a national park and wouldn't allow my dog, so I didn't really linger there. It was also dense enough visually that it might have taken me too long to try to focus in on something to paint anyway. But the beach was beautifully open and simple, and I could dive in and paint . First Beach at La Push, and the Native American reservation, thankfully, values the companionship of animals, and I could take Mr. Darcy for walks on their beach and settle in to paint a bit.
I also realized recently (or realized again) that I really do need an emotional connection with a place to really paint it. Not necessarily do a quick sketch for my journal, but to dive in more deeply. First Beach, with its small islands just off the coast, reminded me of the coastline in Greece, where I've spent time in the past, so it was more immediately accessible to me to paint than the rain forest, lovely as it was. I could paint this coastline very happily, I think.
We stayed two nights in Forks because they had a hotel that would take Mr. Darcy. They also had a home cooking restaurant that had bumble berry pie, which was a mix of rhubarb and several berries. That is not something that is available to me in Memphis, and it was delicious. It was certainly worth memorializing in my journal. I alway like to remember good desserts. It was fun to get away and see something new, but it was also good to get back to Concrete and dive into the last phases of the book project.
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Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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