Deep indigo-blue sky, silver stars, a chorus of crickets and tree frogs are the players in the Kansas musical that is about to entertain me as I lay out my sleeping bag on the rich green grass. In the distance a dog barks asking to be let into the silhouetted farm house that is surrounding a tiny warm glow from a lamp light. My own fire is near out. Only a stick or two show any signs of the fire that toasted my hot dogs. A lone star leaves the stage streaking across the indigo sky as I lay my head down on the pillow of grass I gathered. Headlights appear and disappear in the distance, a buzz distracts me for a second from the lights dancing towards me. Then the headlights turn off in a different direction and are replaced by tail lights. A billion cottonwood leaves are awaken by a westerly breeze to join the chorus. A lot to see and listen to in my quiet little camp site.
Taking in the landscape with it's sounds and smells is what adds to the experience of painting on the spot. Camping in the middle of my little painting enhances everything. Colors over looked appear and become important; the way grass is bending lends to the flow of my paintbrush. Like a conductor leading his orchestra with his baton, I lead my colors with my baton - my paintbrush. Singing leaves draw out the silver grey in the cottoood trees. A meadow lark draws my attention to the waves of grass. All senses are in play, and in harmony .
The chorus from last night's musical is silent, still it is there in my hand as I place each stroke and each color.
When I leave my little campsite I leave with much more than a visual record on canvas. I leave with the place being a part of me. Each place I stop to capture with my paints becomes a part of me, not all are remembered, but all are there helping me see with my heart and mind for whatever I am painting - whether doing a still-life or a figure, all paintings contribute to the next.