Timeout for Art: Happy in Nature


“Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.” –John Muir in a letter to his wife Louie in July 1888 

Visiting my mother in the states for two weeks, I find that I miss the solitude and the heart of nature. Street lights, traffic, crowded stores, a hot concrete jungle, and constant artificial chatter unnerve me. I am happiest in nature.

Opening the local paper listing events in South Carolina, I had a serendipitous moment when I noticed a tiny picture of a painting by Albert Bierstadt, Valley of the Yosemite, 1864. Zeebra Designs and Destinations Timeout for Art this week is Happy in Nature! The theme was a perfect reminder of the peacefulness I needed to overcome my cultural shock.

There is no happier place in nature than Yosemite. Our son, Cory, works in Yosemite as an interpretive naturalist. Because I can’t visit him on this trip to the states, and I’m in a bit of a cultural shock frenzy, I grabbed my sketch pad and settled into a tranquil mode of sketching Albert Bierstadt’s painting. With every line and soft shade, I was transported to Yosemite and to our son, who shares his love of nature with us.

IMG_3155Below is One Day in Yosemite, with several clips of artists painting in Yosemite. If I can’t join them, I can live vicariously through my sketch.