North Dakota was crazy. We drove through blowing snow, and there was a gale force wind that made it difficult to walk, let alone get out of the car without the doors blowing off. So our stop at Theodore Roosevelt National Park was truncated. I did two quick sketches from the front seat (of a stationary car this time) and called it a day.
It was much nicer in Montana. We had a sun filled, end of day stop at Pompey's Pillar, named for Sacajawea's son. It's a huge rock formation right beside the Yellowstone River, and Clark carved his name and the date into it. It's the only physical remnant of the Lewis and Clark expedition. I loved being there, and it was gorgeous, quiet park to enjoy at the end of a long day's drive.
I was almost out of both time and water in my brush pen, so after sketching the view from the top, I did a super quick outline of the rock itself.
Then when we got here, I kept thinking about it. I'm working on my watercolor this spring and summer, and I decided to try a 12" one. That doesn't sound large, but I've been working 6x8" in watercolor, so it was a big jump and a fun experiment. I used both my sketch and a photo to work from. It was fun to play a little.
There was one more page of little road sketches that didn't make it in the post with the others. And that's the full set of sketches I did coming across the country. Both years I've said I would sketch every state, and both years by Idaho I'm tired and don't care anymore, and the little leg of the state we go through passes by so quickly that I miss it. Sorry, Idaho. Maybe next year.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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