Friday, August 15, 2014

Lehman Creek Plein Air

Lehman Creek- Watercolor sketch by Greg Newbold
A couple of weeks ago, we spent the weekend camping at Great Basin National Park in Eastern Nevada. Many people have asked blankly where Great Basin is. Well, I say, you make your way to Delta, Utah and hang a right.

A hundred miles out west in the middle of the desert you will find one of our nation's youngest National Parks. Great Basin is actually much more than I envisioned with it's eleven thousand plus foot Wheeler Peak, boasting one of the oldest bristle cone pine groves in the country as well as the spectacular Lehman cave.
The "Parachutes" inside Lehman Cave
We camped at about eight thousand feet elevation in a nice pine forest setting. A few steps from our tent site trickled Lehman Creek and I took an hour on two consecutive days to sketch it in watercolor. The first day's effort was cut short by intermittent cloudbursts, so I finished up the next afternoon. We also hiked to two alpine lakes and visited the bristle cone pine grove.

Stella Lake, Great Basin National Park
 These amazing centuries old trees are survivors. Some are estimated to have lived over three thousand years and because their resinous wood resists rot, they remain for a Millennium or more after their demise. Some portions of the trees cling to life long after large segments  have given up the ghost.

Bristlecone Pine, Great Basin National park
The wind and sun burnish their bark stripped carcasses But they stubbornly continue to stand as sentinels above the frost line where little else can survive. I took quite a few photos and hope to paint these majestic beauties as well.

More about our trip at Artwife Needs A Life


Amy said...

Such a great trip. Beautiful scenery, great photos, love how the painting turned out.... And the food was good, too!

Brad Teare said...

I will have to check it out sometime. Nice interpretation of the scene in your watercolor.

Unknown said...

Thanks Amy for making the camp so much fun and Brad, it's a nice place and as you know. It's always nice to just sit and paint for fun once in a while.