A celebration of Crater Lake
Hello world to those who read this. I went to Crater Lake for only the second time since settling in to the Rogue Valley a few years ago. Crater Lake is a sacred place on this earth. It's placement among the Cascades and in relation to where I live make it feel like I'm connected to a vein of energy that is deep and profound.
Having the opportunity to stand in front of it on a nice clear day, where if you are lucky and there is no wind or smoke, you while see this almost perfect mirror of the mountains and sky in the lake below. It has a hypnotic sensation and its beauty will captivate all.
I think in early fall is a wonderful time to go around the first week of October maybe. There are typically not as many people, even on the weekend but, it always helps to get there early in most cases.
I can endure up to three, maybe three and a half hours while standing and painting. There is usually a lot of fear and excitement in me when arriving to a place like Crater Lake; knowing that I am about to complete an exercise or marathon in a sense. There is the ultimate challenge of setting up somewhere close to the viewing public who most certainly will want to engage you depending on how close you are to foot traffic. I went to Rim Village this time and was amazed at the extensive area to walk along the edge and view the lake. I walked much of it to survey and spot locations that would be ideal for this second painting.
It was a clear, cool and windy Sunday morning. The wind cut out a lot of the mirror effect across the lake. But the clear blue sky did not disappoint. Before I set up or right before I start painting, I usually consume some cannabis to change my concentration and focus. I don't want to say that its better or necessary to do this but, I feel that it serves a reliable solution to the fear part and lets me experience the excitement in the moment. Mary Jane normally doesn't disappoint when I do these marathon painting sessions.
I literally hold my breath for up to an hour at a time as if I'm trying to hold my breath under water. Eventually I get this sensation that I need to relieve a pressure valve and realize that I haven't consciously taken a breath in a long time. I get in the zone but I also feel like it is a race with time and the shadows that drape across the landscape. The different peaks that ring the lake dance around together when you are so concentrated on their shifting presence across the lake and each other.
This time, I set up along a walk way that merged with a sandy brown vantage point bordered by a stone ledge where I could see much of the lake from a horizontal perspective and capture Wizard Lake which is such an iconic facet within the viewing pleasure.
This time around, because of the location I was in- a high traffic area- their were many passersby who either said something too me, or while passing, actually stopped to observe closer and possibly talk to me. I have a certain principle about this situation when painting: I accept that people want to admire or engage me while painting and its my own damn fault for setting up in the middle of the path practically if I want to feel disturbed or distracted. I haven't experienced any real assholes yet but, a couple people I might seemed a little abnormal like myself. In fact, their was a fun couple who stopped and had no shame in prodding me with questions or distracting me with strange musings. In the end, they gifted me a little plastic dinosaur and said they were looking for laughs and showed their appreciation with the miniature prehistoric beast. I think they might have been under the influence of something but for the most part they were respectful. Luckily it was when I was packing up and I had a van full of family that wanted to pee before we left so you can kind of imagine that I was trying to be nice but let them know that there are some awaiting bladders that needed relief. Anywho...
I had a tender experience with some very special people who had the opportunity to experience the joy of this place. They had some older chaperons who helped communicate with some of the shy ones who wanted to admire my painting. One girl with down syndrome who is a painter was stuck in her shell a little. One of the chaperons brought her closer and I immediately looked at her and talked about painting with her. The chaperon was very appreciative and I think I saved him the hard work of even having to mention what he does and for whom. It's a real human moment that for me takes care of itself as long as you respect that all lives have an energy, vibration and purpose. Not to mention feelings. I have to admit, these kind of moments are what make it worth it; to setup in front of people, not being a total expert but, to conduct yourself with an open heart and kindness, and make important connections in the moment. Creating memories. My mother who recently moved up to southern Oregon went with us for her first time and she really enjoyed it. She is not a very mobile person and she has long lasting effects from polio that she had as a child. She is a also a breast cancer survivor. She is a survivor period. I'm so glad that she got to experience Crater Lake and seeing her son paint it.
I had been painting for at least two and a half hours or more. I really wasn't keeping track but, I was more at the whim of my family and their patience with waiting for me while I chased the movement of the light and shadows across the landscape.
Thank you for reading and please check out the rest of the website for my art and articles. Cheers!