Still Life With Menu

10″x8″ oil on linen panel

We planned a perfect day…we dropped my oldest son off at what must be the highest soccer field in the country to practice for a couple hours, and then we loaded up with paints, books, picnic, and fishing gear.

We arrived at Turquoise Lake, one of my favorite places. I set up to paint, and my other son found his fishing spot. “Mom, do you want to try trout fishing?” Of course, I replied “sure”

“I want to fly fish” I exclaimed! “Um, lets graduate to that, but you can use a fly as bait” he told me. He proceeded to set me up with a spin cast rod with what he called a wet fly and bubble. He handed me the rod. He then he generously “reviewed” how to cast. Of course I had no idea how to do this before, but he didn’t humiliate me by telling me that was ridiculous that I could reach the stage of my life and not know how to work a fishing rod. There was, what seemed to be, a fingernail clipping hanging from the line. “It is a nymph: in nature, nymphs hover about 6″ above the bottom of the stream, that is what we are mimicking with this setup.” Ok, he was talking animal behavior! I was totally on board. He told me to cast upstream, reel it in about a foot, watch the bubble drift down stream, when the bobber dipped down, hook the fish, and steadily and evenly reel it in. “Don’t be spastic when you reel it in.”

So, I casted, reeled it in a foot, and by some miracle I watched the bubble drift (I can’t tell you how hard it was to see clear “bubble” in a gurgling creek), but my son was watching just flies (i.e. Fingernail clipping) on his fly rod so I didn’t complain. Then my bubble dipped down, and exclaimed I had caught a trout! My son said “sometimes it feels like that” then he watched my rod bend and I enjoyed real time coaching from my son, and cheerleading from my daughters as I reeled in a beautiful rainbow trout. Then I proceeded to catch several more over the next hour. Hooray! I take back everything I have ever said about fishing: it was exciting, required finess, care, observation. I didn’t manage to hook all of them, and some of them were real fighters. It was sooo exciting!!!

It was also exciting when the fish and game warden walked up and asked my son if he had a fishing license, “no sir I am 15.” Then he turned and asked how old I was. “Older than 15” I dumbly replied. Fishing license! Dang, I totally forgot, all my kids were to young to need one in Colorado, so we didn’t plan for that. I got a ticket from the warden, and a sincere thank you for taking my kids fishing.

We cooked the trout in the coals of a campfire. They were seasoned with salt and pepper, stuffed with garlic and butter, wrapped in foil and cooked to perfection in 7 min. We plated them on blue speckled enamelware and served them with tiny roasted new potatoes and green beans. It was delicious! The bones came out in one piece like in a cartoon!

Oh, by the time we finally picked up my oldest son, he was cooked and had been out of water for hours. Luckily, he forgave us. “We got carried away catching fish I told him, we are having trout for dinner!” Then my offspring revealed “mom is a poacher.”

Fire in the Sky

10″x8″ pastel on sanded paper

I got up at 3am and hiked hard uphill for hours to earn this sunrise. I could hear John Denver singing “Rocky Mountain High” as I watched these colors change he was writing about a meteor shower, but this sure did look like fire in the sky, so I sang it anyways.

Hiking Hand in Hand

8″x10″These girls are so strong, and so sweet. I loved that they were hiking holding hands on the amount Massive Trail. However, if I were to be completely honest, I painted this because their shadows look like little yetis, and the shape delighted me.

Occasion for Hope

10″x8″ pastel on sanded paper”The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.” -John Buchan

A Day at Turquoise Lake

10″x8″ pastel on sanded paper, Plein AirLeadville, Colorado- 10,200′Today was a fine day for fishing, or canoeing, or paddle boarding, or sailing, or hiking, or picnicking, or painting! Or just enjoying the view!