Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Misconception #3: The Opacity of Meltwater

The third startling misconception of my life presented itself in Banff and Jasper National Parks earlier this month. Every photograph I have ever seen of meltwater indicated that it was opaque, like liquid minty toothpaste flowing through river beds and lapping onto lake shores. It is not and my quick phrase/drawing above floating in Lake Louise shows this inaccuracy. [For those dying to know, the other misconceptions were: 1) snowshoes don't allow you to walk on top of snow and 2) swim caps do not prevent hair from getting wet.]

Lake Louise was the first body of water on my list that I had never visited. It is significant due to the photographs my aunt and uncle sent of their family's summer vacation approximately twenty-five years ago. In the clouds and mist, it was an enchanting location for a teenager growing up in the high desert landscape. It became a place of longing and this months three visits did not disappoint.

I write this with the images of Lake Louise on my Canon CF card sixty miles away with the hopes of posting the highlights this weekend. Life has been frantic since the end of April - apologies for my irregular blog posts. Soon I will be well enough to post on a regular basis as there is so much to complete during the remaining half of summer.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Five Photographs of Mountains and One of Water (Eventually)

Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

Mt. Rundle from the Trans Canada Highway (my new favorite mountain)

View from Sulphur Mountain, Banff National Park

View of Banff from Sulphur Mountain (now I understand what Albert Bierstadt was thinking when painting his seemingly unrealistic landscapes of the American West).

 Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Parking Lot

Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Binoculars: Canadian Edition

Castle Mountain, Banff National Park

Medicine Lake, Jasper National Park

Eagles Nesting on Medicine Lake, Jasper National Park

Canadian Rockies, Medicine Lake, Jasper National Park

Between Maligne and Medicine Lakes, Jasper National Park

Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park

Lake Superior, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario

Lake Superior, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario

Lake Superior, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Oh Canada

Good-bye Idaho.

Hello Canada (and summer vacation with artwork sprinkled here and there).

Precedent: The Kienholz House in Beyond Hope, Idaho

Ed Kienholz died in June 1994 from a heart attack while hiking near his Northern Idaho home. One year later, my friend John and I drove by the Northern Idaho house he shared with Nancy Reddin Kienholz. I still have the photographs I took nineteen years ago of the mailbox with their name on it and the airplane in the front yard.

I unexpectedly stumbled upon the house again last week. It was easy to recognize the airplane: the mannequin still resides in the pilot's seat and more rust has accumulated in the years since then. A simple thought occurred shortly after: this was my first artist stalking experience. Despite the fact that Ed was no longer alive, Nancy resided there in the summer months. I would see her in Houston in the winter at various gallery openings in the Heights, never revealing I knew anything about her Northern Idaho home. This experience of driving around Beyond Hope in search of anything that looked like a famous artist's home and finding this was ingrained in me years before the series Artist Stalking: In Search of Home began. If ever I do anything with this series beyond the essay in Art Review and posts on this blog, I need to include it in the discussion. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Two Days on Lake Pend Oreille


I am still processing the Lake Pend Oreille photographs and will have more to say soon. So many memories are bottled up in a couple locations on one large lake splayed across the Panhandle.

Cape Horn Road, Bayview, Idaho

Navy sonar barge, Bayview, Idaho

Cape Horn / Bayview, Idaho

Cape Horn / Bayview, Idaho

Clear Water Sample for the specimen box, Cape Horn / Bayview, Idaho

My favorite documentation of Camden's Rock at Cape Horn / Bayview, Idaho

Lake Pend Oreille through the binoculars, Cape Horn / Bayview, Idaho

Clear water sample specimen bottle in the water (the bubbles give its location away)

This tugboat has rested here long before I was born and I was shocked to discover it was still there (the accidental trespassing view).

The normal view from every photograph of the past.

Sunnyside looking East.

Driftwood marker, Sunnyside

Sportsman's Access, Sunnyside

Beyond Hope, Idaho

Beyond Hope, Idaho

One final photograph from City Beach, Sandpoint on the final night before leaving for Canada.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

En route to Northern Idaho via Water

One of the turquoise gems of my childhood, the Payette Lake, was cold to the touch as I dipped a cheap piece of xerox paper into the water Thursday.  Other than a few boaters and families on the shore, it was calm and quiet. A distinguishing feature of this lake are the pine needles and minute pieces of bark that are now floating in my specimen bottle.

Slowly but surely a plan is formulating to take these photographs into the next realm, something to look forward to in Indiana.

[The above two images were taken in McCall at the park "downtown."]

After the snow melts, the water is rarely clear and I marveled at the fact that my brother and I swam at the Slate Creek Campground on the Salmon River on several occasions. It is roughly 20' closer to the shore than anything I remember in the past, flowing into the parking lot near the campsites.

Logs churned upstream in whirlpools. Grass that will undoubtedly die in July from lack of precipitation swayed in the murk along the shore.


Here is  the Clearwater River taken from Lewiston Hill; it is included so no one can ever accuse me of ignoring polluted bodies of water from areas that aren't located in the Midwest.  How could I ignore a river named Clearwater? The irony of its location next to a pulp mill (above) was never lost upon me.

Struggling without three hands while trying to take photographs through the binoculars with the iPhone is becoming an ongoing theme.

My cousin and I arrived in Coeur d'Alene in the evening. We wandered around the resort taking photographs on the iPhone. This was the lake we always drove past (because Pend Oreille was much better) but we did spend time at the resort once for my mother's insurance conference. These photographs are a reminder of that time period.

Soundtrack: Van Halen blasting on a lime green speedboat driven by two men straight out of the 1980s.

My attempt at making Northern Idaho look like I momentarily visited the Adriatic Sea.

View of the boardwalk from the bridge (standing above dozens of swallow nests).

My favorite photograph of the day: hotel art at the resort (I only documented the chocolate cake).