Said hi to very friendly neighbors here with Yorkshire. Everyone I’ve met has been super friendly. Made a beeline for the river. JP loves water and I let him do his “I dig water” dance. GG watches on with indifference. We follow the river South. There are a few pools for JP to practice swimming. I gently throw GG in and she does well swimming back to me, seeming to appreciate the cool water without resentment. Soon trail becomes blocked with brush and logs. We head back to camp and I feed the hungry beasts. Shut them in and head to the only establishment around with a bar. It’s packed. Goeduck Restaurant and Lounge is the name of it. There’s one stool at the bar so I sit down. Order an Angry Orchard Cider and side of fries. Three old faces, two men and a woman are busy chatting but are curious about me. The older woman slurs her words and obviously intoxicated welcomes me. She notices my sketchbook and asks if I did the drawing. Yes, its my dog JP I say. She wants to know more about my dogs. I ask her about Brinnon and all three proceed to offer their own two cents. They talk about how they're featured on channel five Evening Magazine (google Goeduck Restaurant Lounge). Esquire magazine ranks it #163 best bars in the country. The three ambassadors of Brinnon tell me the clam and oyster digging is great but make sure you cook shellfish well. They mention Rocky Brook Waterfall, and the viewpoint at Mount Walker as must sees. A younger friend of theirs sits down and proceeds to talk about his friend who bought a fiberglas jeep. He was flabbergasted and went on and on about the fiberglas jeep. There’s no place to ground it.
Of course your going to have electrical problems he insists. A very handsome gent, salt of the earth type. I just sat in awe and listened. They were pleased to have an audience. Whenever they asked anything about me I changed the subject. They are much more interesting! Slept well and in morning took dogs up to Rocky Brook Falls, just a 3 mile drive up the mountain. The guys at the bar said it was at the 2 mile mark but its actually at the 3 mile mark! If I see them again I have something to raz them about.
Rocky Brook Falls are beautiful. Jetting water breaks into eight or ten streams that pass in and out of each other. I guess the flow is lower than normal but it gave a satisfying rush. Maybe its the electrons. I can never remember if they are positive or negative from a waterfall.
There were a few others arriving as we were leaving. I took a picture for a proud father so he could be in front of the waterfall with his family. He sounded Indian or Pakistani. From there I headed towards Quilcene to Mount Walker viewpoint. Then a four mile drive on a twisting gravelly dirt road. One false move and one goes tumbling off to certain death. That alone made the excursion thrilling. When we arrive at the summit South view panorama was spectacular. Misty fog was lifting and shifting. One could see the valley and Hoods Canal stretch out below, framed by rhododendrons and 100 year old Douglas Fir. Not visible are Seattle and Mount Rainier, which could be seen on a clear day. Drove around to see the North viewpoint and it was a blanket of fog. Nothing visible but a lovely opaque milky gray. I wanted to see Mt. Constance the third most prominant peak of the Olympics. I could see it from my neighborhood in Fremont so it’s a landmark for me. I’m surprised at all the campsites along Highway 101. Good to know. If you don’t get a reservation, don’t let that stop you! I count 8 campsites within the Quilcene/Brinnon area. Only two of them I could find listed. Theres only two little grocery stores. Think quick stop with camping gear.
I have two journeys going on. The outer journey; tangible, physical, planning course, supplies, battery power, dogs, etc. Journey to be self-reliant. Then there's the Inner Journey, understanding my artistic, intellectual self. No handles to grip. How do I handle that? Massage it. Clean it. Reveal it. Follow the path. I hope experiences along the way stimulate action. The inner journey is what I hope to nurture most. Hiking trails all day is terrific. Beer is delicious. Days meander by. I love the slow pace. Sweet birds and gentle breezes. Am I being guided? Sometimes it seems so. Perhaps one must believe there is something more in order to find something more. Can my imagination fleshed out enough for others to participate? I must trust that these are my own thoughts and not some programmed hype. Still have duties to perform as in urban life; about as minimal as possible unless one has a servant or two. No one to interrupt thoughts.
I’m stunned by over the top beauty of natural landscape on the Olympic Peninsula. I have already found in the past how copying a landscape from a photo is fun. Fun like making a puzzle is a challenge. It is impressive to a viewer who is not adept at copying a landscape and they immediately heap huge praise on an artist who produces a photo derived landscape painting. Ultimately, the natural scene cannot be surpassed by a painting or photo. There are artists out there who believe these praises and walk around all puffed up with their own falsified identification. On the other hand, Plein Air painting holds more promise. One paints an impression of the scene before him/her. That experience is rewarding to the artist as time and light are experienced as one. There is no time to render details, one must paint quickly and confidently as the light changes. The best plein air paintings in my opinion are fresh, untampered, and unrendered. The viewer can be moved by a plein air painting but often the image falls flat to the uneducated eye. The ignorant eye demands detail. The inner eye knows when a suggestion is well realized. When standing in front of nature in all its glory it’s hard to resist producing 'the inferior copy'. One must remind oneself, merely copying a scene will not extend reality. Copying nature will make the artist a mimic and offer nothing more to the world but inferior replicas. This is why I am called to develop my inner eye. I want to use creativity, not just as copyist. An artist has a chance to extend reality with expression.
Adult coloring books are very popular now. It is satisfying to mindlessly fill shapes with color. I would suggest to you artists who are copying photographs consider using coloring books as it accomplishes the same thing. On the other hand, its pretty easy to make a living copying photographs! Having said all that, I do love images. Even bad ones end up confirming assertions.