A Gift for Yourself

Taking a watercolor sketchbook everywhere I go and a camera is the best gift I could ever give myself. Sometimes moments happen so quickly we do not have time to stop to paint so a quick snapshot picture helps me remember where we were and the emotions felt. I love coming home and searching through photographs to decide what to paint. Also, storing photographs to paint later is an added bonus. Being able to paint these memories and recreate moments in a different form is marvelous. Recently, I have been looking back at a trip my husband and I took to Great Basin National Park in Nevada. 

National Parks are beautiful year round but we especially love traveling in the fall. We happened to explore this park in October with the leaves falling all around us. The colors of the park were breathtaking and we had an amazing time walking through the wooded areas. I decided to create an ink and watercolor sketch of the fall leaves and then the idea expanded into adding more memories of the whole trip. I chose a photograph of my husband walking across logs to get to the other side of a stream. He was telling the best story and I remember laughing while truly enjoying the moment. This sketch has brought on a life all of its own. I hope to add the Lehman Caves somewhere on this journal page or make a page solely for the beauty of the caves.

The Caves in the park are home to many bats which we did not see while we were there. The people at the front desk made sure we had not been in any caves prior so we did not transfer any harmful substances from our shoes to the Lehman Caves. The tour guide was amazing and we were able to get some wonderful photographs. I am very excited to paint and draw this amazing wonder. Luckily, we have more pictures of the caves but I have to find them. We also always manage to find some beautiful flowers at each National Park so I will probably be adding some of those to the composition for a pop of color. The ideas that flow while working in a sketchbook are endless. I highly recommend doodling, drawing, writing down, or sketching down any thoughts. They are really fun to look back on or read. Thank you all for reading my blog and have a great day!

-Karen Hilliard

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