Fri, Sep 22nd, 2017

Summer Adventures 2017

This has been a very busy ,but quite successful summer. We made many new friends and had some really incredible wildlife encounters, thanks to our new friends at Earthfire Institute.
In October,we are invited to exhibit work in London and Paris ( at the Louvre' no less!) and also pledged to help conservation exhibitions in Namibia and South Africa . This on top of our shows and exhibit schedule across the United States.
Of course , all this comes the same month we had planned (for two years) to be in Rwanda and Tanzania .So, it has been a summer packed with signing contracts, shipping art all over the planet,and making exhibition arrangements ,etc.,etc.,..... This was hard since we were only home 2 weeks the entire summer! We managed to "sneak in" some great hiking and wildlife adventures and supported a dear friend who is battling cancer in Los Angles.
We are ready to relax ( and actually looking forward to it) on the 15 hour flight to Africa!

Summer started with  us driving west to the Bellevue Art Museum show in Seattle
Summer started with us driving west to the Bellevue Art Museum show in Seattle
Even though it meant a 3000 mile, five day journey, we were really looking forward to seeing our friends Jan and Wally and taking a short trip with them to the Olympic Peninsula.
Summer started with us driving west to the Bellevue Art Museum show in Seattle
On the way to Seattle we visited the Osteopathic Museum as we passed through Oklahoma City.
On the way to Seattle we visited the Osteopathic Museum as we passed through Oklahoma City.
What an incredible museum, featuring the skeletons of virtually all of the major animals on earth.
On the way to Seattle we visited the Osteopathic Museum as we passed through Oklahoma City.
Seeing giraffe, Whales, elephants, all the primates and big cat skeletons was so informative.
Seeing giraffe, Whales, elephants, all the primates and big cat skeletons was so informative.
For me ,seeing the comparative bone structures of these animals was quite useful.
Seeing giraffe, Whales, elephants, all the primates and big cat skeletons was so informative.
Our 5 day Journey to Seattle began routinely and it was a relief to be driving.(Mindless staring at the road sounded great)
Our 5 day Journey to Seattle began routinely and it was a relief to be driving.(Mindless staring at the road sounded great)
We visited the world's largest ball of Twine in central Kansas. Then the Sprinter broke down in Fort Collins Colorado and we spent a week there trying to get it fixed. We ended up renting a small truck to complete the 1300 mile journey up to Seattle.
Our 5 day Journey to Seattle began routinely and it was a relief to be driving.(Mindless staring at the road sounded great)
After making  it to Seattle just in time for the Bellevue Show
After making it to Seattle just in time for the Bellevue Show
Sarah,jan and Wally came by to visit.Spending an extra week in Colorado( broken down) caused us to miss our planned expedition to view wildlife on the Olympic Peninsula with Jan and Wally. Guess we will do that next year!
After making it to Seattle just in time for the Bellevue Show
Sun Valley Invitational-Unfortunately, we had to return our rental truck to Colorado before driving back to this show.
Sun Valley Invitational-Unfortunately, we had to return our rental truck to Colorado before driving back to this show.
It was a beautiful show in a beautiful Valley. We even got to visit our old friend Bobby Navarro while we were there
Sun Valley Invitational-Unfortunately, we had to return our rental truck to Colorado before driving back to this show.
We had a wonderful dinner with our friends Jim and Jamie Dutcher
We had a wonderful dinner with our friends Jim and Jamie Dutcher
Jim and Jamie are world famous wolf researchers and National Geographic film makers who just wrote their third book on wolves. Check out their first book,"Living with Wolves".
We had a wonderful dinner with our friends Jim and Jamie Dutcher
 We finally got to our vacation in the West Teton area near Driggs, Idaho
We finally got to our vacation in the West Teton area near Driggs, Idaho
We found an incredible cabin on VRBO named Thistledew , far from civilization, with beautiful views, and great hiking nearby. Only 45 minutes from Jackson, it was easy to visit our gallery at Mountain Trails
We finally got to our vacation in the West Teton area near Driggs, Idaho
Our beautiful cabin in the
Our beautiful cabin in the" boonies".Thistledew is a wonderful retreat from the hassle of civilization!
It was a homey and comfortable home base for hikes to see Moose, Buffalo, deer and elk. Amazingly it turned out to be a great spot to see Bear and wolves as well
Our beautiful cabin in the" boonies".Thistledew is a wonderful retreat from the hassle of civilization!
We did some great hiking in the Tetons
We did some great hiking in the Tetons
Training
We did some great hiking in the Tetons
 One of the highlights of our hike was seeing this moose colt and mom!
One of the highlights of our hike was seeing this moose colt and mom!
One of the highlights of our hike was seeing this moose colt and mom!
Our old friend Mary Waight and Joy Joined us for the Jackson Art fest and dinner.
Our old friend Mary Waight and Joy Joined us for the Jackson Art fest and dinner.
Since we are already represented in Jackson by Mountain Trails Gallery we visited the art fair there as "civilians".
Our old friend Mary Waight and Joy Joined us for the Jackson Art fest and dinner.
The wildflowers were blooming everywhere!
The wildflowers were blooming everywhere!
The wildflowers were blooming everywhere!
QE spent a day rafting and looking for Moose
QE spent a day rafting and looking for Moose
QE spent a day rafting and looking for Moose
One of the treats of our Teton vacation was meeting Dr. Susan Eirich  at the Earth fire Institute.
One of the treats of our Teton vacation was meeting Dr. Susan Eirich at the Earth fire Institute.
The earth fire Institute is a wildlife sanctuary dedicated to changing how humans see, and therefore treat, wildlife and nature.We started our visit at their "Media Room".
One of the treats of our Teton vacation was meeting Dr. Susan Eirich at the Earth fire Institute.
The morning sun would first light the eastern edges of the mountains while the hills below them remained a deep blue.
The morning sun would first light the eastern edges of the mountains while the hills below them remained a deep blue.
Each morning was so beautiful as the sunlight crept over the jagged peaks. Now and then we could watch and hear Sandhill cranes flying across the fields below us.
The morning sun would first light the eastern edges of the mountains while the hills below them remained a deep blue.
We went rafting on the Yellowstone River hoping to see  wildlife!
We went rafting on the Yellowstone River hoping to see wildlife!
It's always incredible to see wild moose! They are so huge and peaceful!
We went rafting on the Yellowstone River hoping to see wildlife!
Bike riding in the tetons
Bike riding in the tetons
Bike riding in the tetons
We never tired of this view.
We never tired of this view.
Imagine our surprise at night, when we heard wolves howling nearby. Imagine our surprise to find an incredible facility like Earth fire Institute right next-door.
We never tired of this view.
A rare white Buffalo  being raised at EARTHFIRE INSTITUTE
A rare white Buffalo being raised at EARTHFIRE INSTITUTE
A rare white Buffalo being raised at EARTHFIRE INSTITUTE
They also raise wolves there that were in need of a sanctuary.
They also raise wolves there that were in need of a sanctuary.
Kenai and Tatami were so free-spirited and beautiful as they ran around the property. This was a great opportunity for any wildlife artist to watch the movement and physiology of running wolves.
They also raise wolves there that were in need of a sanctuary.
Being so close tho these beautiful creatures was amazing
Being so close tho these beautiful creatures was amazing
Being so close tho these beautiful creatures was amazing
They are caring for a mountain lion that was formally  kept as a pet
They are caring for a mountain lion that was formally kept as a pet
Getting to sit and watch and even play with these magnificent animals was such a dream for me . I learned so much about their movement and facial characteristics.
They are caring for a mountain lion that was formally kept as a pet
Spending a few days with bears and wolves was an incredible experience for me.
Spending a few days with bears and wolves was an incredible experience for me.
Jean and Susan Allowed me to observe and sketch two of the most beautiful Bears I've ever seen.Needless to say, I spent almost three days observing and sketching their wildlife.
Spending a few days with bears and wolves was an incredible experience for me.
Oh Oh ,I'm not sure he likes how I am  representing him.....
Oh Oh ,I'm not sure he likes how I am representing him.....
Oh Oh ,I'm not sure he likes how I am representing him.....
Each evening we sat on our back deck as the sun slowly set behind us turning the Tetons to gold!
Each evening we sat on our back deck as the sun slowly set behind us turning the Tetons to gold!
This is truly where the term" purple mountains majesty" originated!
Each evening we sat on our back deck as the sun slowly set behind us turning the Tetons to gold!
Just watching the joy of a bear playing in water brought me great joy.
Just watching the joy of a bear playing in water brought me great joy.
Getting to watch the moods, actions and emotions of these animals was really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Just watching the joy of a bear playing in water brought me great joy.
Susan and Jean Visited us for dinner our last night
Susan and Jean Visited us for dinner our last night
Jean was an animal trainer in Hollywood for years and now devotes his life to animal conservation. We really enjoyed spending time with them and getting to understand their passion for wildlife conservation.
Susan and Jean Visited us for dinner our last night
Face to face with one of the most powerful animals on the planet.
Face to face with one of the most powerful animals on the planet.
The opportunity of a lifetime for a wildlife artist!
Face to face with one of the most powerful animals on the planet.
As the bear approached, my heart beat faster and faster.
As the bear approached, my heart beat faster and faster.
Three things separated me from this huge brown bear -A thin electrified wire, and Jean - armed with bearspray and marshmallows. To be honest, I had more confidence in the marshmallows than that electrified wire.
As the bear approached, my heart beat faster and faster.
 I could watch bears at play forever!
I could watch bears at play forever!
I could watch bears at play forever!
Being close to these wolves was an almost magical experience.
Being close to these wolves was an almost magical experience.
Sadly, we left our mountain retreat and our friends at Earthier and headed down to Salt Lake City to leave the sprinter at the airport. We flew home for a week and then flew back to continue our scheduled art fairs out West.
Being close to these wolves was an almost magical experience.
 watching the sunset over the Pacific Ocean with whales, dolphins, and seals just offshore.
watching the sunset over the Pacific Ocean with whales, dolphins, and seals just offshore.
After leaving the sprinter in Salt Lake City for a week, we returned from home and drove to the Pacific Ocean to exhibit in the Kings Mountain art fair.
watching the sunset over the Pacific Ocean with whales, dolphins, and seals just offshore.
The Kings Mountain arts fair is held in a redwood forest overlooking the Pacific Ocean near Silicon Valley.
The Kings Mountain arts fair is held in a redwood forest overlooking the Pacific Ocean near Silicon Valley.
Certainly one of the most beautiful , but exclusive art fairs we participate in. We stayed in a small VRBO a short hike from the Pacific Ocean Beaches and bicycle paths.
The Kings Mountain arts fair is held in a redwood forest overlooking the Pacific Ocean near Silicon Valley.
We made some wonderful new friends and got together with some of our old friends as well
We made some wonderful new friends and got together with some of our old friends as well
. Although the temperature in San Francisco was a record-setting 106°,It was fairly cool in the forest and attendance improved as the temperature went down over Labor Day.
We made some wonderful new friends and got together with some of our old friends as well
The teetering rock of June Lake. This tiny town is only 10 miles from Yosemite Valley by air.
The teetering rock of June Lake. This tiny town is only 10 miles from Yosemite Valley by air.
This little valley is one of our favorites with some of the best hiking and beautiful views in the area. Although it's very close as the crow flies, it's about a two-hour drive by road from Yosemite Valley.
The teetering rock of June Lake. This tiny town is only 10 miles from Yosemite Valley by air.
One of our favorite hikes is a difficult one but well worth it- up to Fern Lake
One of our favorite hikes is a difficult one but well worth it- up to Fern Lake
One of our goals on this trip was to begin training for the hiking we will be doing in Rwanda to see the mountain gorillas. This is a very difficult almost vertical hike, but as you can see it was well worth it.
One of our favorite hikes is a difficult one but well worth it- up to Fern Lake
The views from the top of the mountain are spectacular!
The views from the top of the mountain are spectacular!
The best thing about this trail is that when you get to the lake there were no humans to be seen. Last year we watched a bear swim across this lake as we laid in the warm sun on the beach.
The views from the top of the mountain are spectacular!
Next we drove to Zion national Park on the way home.
Next we drove to Zion national Park on the way home.
WOW! What incredible scenery! The entire route through the Virgin River Canyon was incredible.
Next we drove to Zion national Park on the way home.
We even got to see some wildlife in the canyon.
We even got to see some wildlife in the canyon.
We even got to see some wildlife in the canyon.
We hiked up to
We hiked up to "THE NARROWS" , with the Virgin River has cut a slot canyon 800 feet through the rock .
After a mile you leave the Park trail and descend into the river. From there you weighed up the ice cold River over rocks and boulders and into one of the most beautiful formations we've ever seen.
We hiked up to "THE NARROWS" , with the Virgin River has cut a slot canyon 800 feet through the rock .
Luckily, the warnings were that the flash flood danger that day was only
Luckily, the warnings were that the flash flood danger that day was only" probable"!
Even though the park signage warned of" probable flash flood danger", like the other folks with low regard for their own lives, we elected to hike up the canyon anyway.
Luckily, the warnings were that the flash flood danger that day was only" probable"!
It's difficult to describe what it's like hiking in a narrow canyon with the walls towering almost 1000 feet over your head.
It's difficult to describe what it's like hiking in a narrow canyon with the walls towering almost 1000 feet over your head.
Without a doubt this is one of the greatest hikes we have ever done. We were lucky enough to be there around noon when the sun shone straight into the valley- illuminating the rock finishes, formations and shapes.
It's difficult to describe what it's like hiking in a narrow canyon with the walls towering almost 1000 feet over your head.
On the way home we stopped briefly to have the sprinter checked at the Mercedes  dealer.
On the way home we stopped briefly to have the sprinter checked at the Mercedes dealer.
Nearby was the Oklahoma City bombing Museum and Memorial. With a beautiful reflecting pond, two large walls representing the minutes before and after the explosion, and 180 bronze chairs, one for each of the victims of the bombing.
On the way home we stopped briefly to have the sprinter checked at the Mercedes dealer.
This was actually one of the most engaging and emotional museums we've ever visited.
This was actually one of the most engaging and emotional museums we've ever visited.
Learning more about the tragedy, it's heroes, it's horrific effect and how it affected the lives of the people were working nearby was very engaging. It was a suitable end to our Western tour and we were very happy to be home to prepare for Rwanda.
This was actually one of the most engaging and emotional museums we've ever visited.