I love hiking...I do it every weekend unless something prevents me from going. My dog Josie and I would leave early and be gone most of the morning, hiking high up in the mountains behind our home. She and I were soo connected and happy to be out there enjoying nature. But my sweet, beloved hiking buddy passed away over 3 years ago leaving me devastated.
These days I hike with my new pup Indie, who to my disappointment is not a hiker...or even a walker...he's more of a sniffer. And when he gets onto a tasty smell there is no moving him...he is stubborn with a mind of his own. I use to get very impatient with him until I started going with his slow flow of things. So, hiking these days is not quite the same but neither am I, I guess. We don't conquer mountains in the wee hours of the morning like Josie and I did, now my hikes are laid back, relatively short, no more than 2-2.5 hours and fairly easy...but...incredibly beautiful just the same!!
In the beginning I was hampered SO many times from actually hiking that while waiting for Indie to get in his sniffing, I just started looking down and observing the lovely stream we were trekking through, which lead me to taking a slew of photos with my phone and posting them to Instagram. One day my friend Lissa said I should draw those tiny snippets of nature...I said I was seriously thinking about it. Well, here I am over 2 years later finally doing just that!! I don't know why it took me soo long, I guess I wasn't quite done drawing animals yet.
It's been wondrous starting this new series of intimate portraits of nature taken from my exquisite town nestled in the mountains, just north of LA. I am enjoying the detailed layering of multiple colors in one piece...something I don't typically do, to this extent anyway with my animal portraits. It feels right and unique and fascinating to me. And I have SO many photographic reference images line up for this series that I hope to be creating these nature portraits for many years to come. This is all due to a crazy bull terror named Indie, who caused me to stop and pay attention to rocks, leaves and swirly abstract patterns in a sweet little stream along a beautiful hiking path!