Art and Hiking

Platte River Bike Trail #2
6″ x 8″
oil on panel    (sold)
(c) 2009 Tracy Wall

A few weeks ago, artist Keith Bond wrote a wonderful article on Clint Watson’s art blog, Fine Art Views about the parallels between the journey an artist takes and hiking.    Such an interesting article; please take a read!  He makes some comparisons between the hiking pace and the pace of an artist’s goals, as well as the trek up to a mountain summit vs. seeing the journey along the way.

Being that I enjoy hiking in the Colorado mountains and I am continually on my artistic journey, I thought I’d put in my 2 cents as well.  I’m still searching to establish my own pace.  Being that I work another full time business, I’m forever searching to maintain a balance.

As far as the destination vs. the journey, I completely agree with Keith.  Since my hiking partner, Spencer (arf!),  is maturing (OK, me too), we don’t seem to do the long hikes in the high country anymore.  Any climbing in altitude is done in the car before we get to the trail head.  We don’t travel to the top of anything, just hike for a while, see and sniff interesting things, and then return.  It’s all about the journey and not the destination.   As far as my art, I often love the painting process more than I like some of my completed works.   Maybe that’s why I like to paint everyday objects, too.

There’s one more comparison I’d like to mention that’s very important to me.

Although we all have our favorite hikes we do again and again, the adventurer in me likes to explore something new.  No, I don’t mean trailblazing through unmanned mountain lion country, but just finding a path I’ve never been on before.  It could be a new trail or an unexplored branch of a familiar trail.  It could be the same trail, but different time of the year.  Same with my painting: if I’m trying something new, breaking new ground whether it be new color combination, new technique, new palette knife, new subject, or a whole new medium, there’s an additional electricity and excitement to see what happens.  There’s a whole new world to explore in every painting.

And besides, who knows where this new trail could take me?!?


About Tracy Wall

I'm an artist and massage therapist living in Denver, Colorado.
This entry was posted in Art Blogs, Colorado, Creative Process, Landscape, My Art, Other Artists, Painting, Trail. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Art and Hiking

  1. Interesting thoughts, and nice to see a snow scene in warm colors.

    Do you always take paths? Do you ever just go through the countryside? There aren’t many established paths here, you have to just crash on through. Maybe I should find some paths, life might be a little easier!

  2. Pattie Wall says:

    I agree Tracy…it is all about the journey, the process – in life and in doing art, whatever it may be. I feel good as long as it I have expressed myself and my impressions resonate from my art. I like the colors you used in this peaceful painting and the overall undertone and blues in the light are nice!

  3. Yet, I do have an immense problem. I can do horrid little scribble acrylic paintings—- That I hate, but people seem to love. I have stopped painting, from doing these nasty things for a few months.

    Am I crazy?

  4. Tracy says:

    Melissa – Thanks for the comments. There are many hiking pathways in these parts. True, it’s always an adventure to stray off the beaten path, however around here if you lose your sense of direction in the high country, you could be lost for quite some time. Interesting dilemma you have. Sometimes we can be our own worst critics, but only you can decide if you enjoy them (either the results ot the process). Maybe we’re all a little crazy. :)

    Pattie – Agree! Though sometimes my results don’t exactly say what I had originally intended. Again, just part of the process! And thanks; I had fun with the colors too!

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