;->  but shucks,  you gave it a try!

Wonderful to read this and the other notes people are sending in; thanks Frank;
and of course au contraire, the words have quite an effect.
    Someone said being at the meetings among artist-naturalists was like a
homecoming; I find reading the travelogs of alla y'all really rewarding, and
vividly comforting, too.

I was out there in WA prowling around not too long after the blast, and was
also deeply (and hypervisually)  moved by that terrrain; albeit aspects were
somewhat different at the time.   Prominent then was the famous coating of ash
for miles and miles and counties and counties;  I recall it as giving new
meaning to the word "ubiquitous."
    That ash both enhanced some of  the textural-type things Frank so
beautifully notes here, but also muted everythign that was to do with hue,
waaaaay down.
    I remember we did some crawling on our bellies at the time too, having a
peek at the microclimate view down among the ashy scrub;  words utterly FAIL
me!  all I can say is "wo."  To go eyeball to eyeball with a single plant
draped in that stuff, and wonder.    man.      ffwhew.     eerie, powerful MOM
(Nature, that is)
    Those of you who live out there: do you get to go out there and paint like
the rest of us are salivating to?

And on a similar:  I wonder if anyone has spent time in Iceland, or had the op
to paint there?  the  color/texture stuff going on in that landscape is to me
total inspiration; I'd love to hear someone else's version......


Frank Ippolito wrote:

> >Happy landings<
> Thanks Chris and Miriam for sharing a travel log from the second half of
> your trip! Its always fun to hear a little about the varous post-meeting
> adventures we take...
> After the meeting I took some time to explore the mountains. Most
> remarkable was my visit to Mt St Helens. Wow! The word that kept repeating
> inside my head was: awesome.
> Based on (wildly innaccurate) weather reports, I burned rubber out of
> Seattle to take advantage of what was projected to be the only clear day
> left to my trip. Although it was a long ride, I decided to drive directly
> to the NE entrance to the park and visit Windy Ridge overlook. I have read
> (most correctly) that this was by far the more dramatic first glimpse of
> the mountain. My drive-time would leave me with less than 2 hours of light
> after a full afternoon of driving, but I hoped that the vantage would make
> for a great sunset. I wasn't disappointed.
> Driving in from the NE does not allow for a gradual acclimation to the
> devastation (and the wicked beauty) of this region (unlike the main SE/SW
> entances/visitor centers). Instead after a long drive through the lush
> mountain forests that are typical for the cascades, one rounds a switchback
> and is suddenly within the scorch zone of the blast. This zone is comprised
> of thousands and thousands of standing trees that have lost most of thier
> limbs and all of their foliage- standing as far as the eye can see.
> Although passing across this landscape is enough to raise the hair on the
> back of your neck, the truely haunting sight is when you notice the tiny
> toothpick-like silhouettes of other barren trees standing way off on every
> distant ridge. At this point one cannot yet see the peak that was
> responsible for this condition- which really underscores just how powerful
> a force this place bares silent witness to.
> After driving a bit farther in around another switchback or two, one can
> begin to see more and more of the blast area- which is defined by thousands
> of tree trunks that are all lying flat and and pointing in the same
> direction: away from the beautiful glacial peak that has come into view in
> the distance. Across the panarama, this effect is enhanced by the built-in
> perspective of a series of lines that eminate from a single point-source.
> Remember that this is not a flat landscape. These felled trees follow the
> contours of various ridges and valleys, and the visual effect is one vast,
> moving texture. That is, until you connect the huge logs that immediately
> surround you with the distant landscape they are part of. The late
> afternoon light only served to add relief to this dramatic scene. Many of
> the trees piled together within the valleys that surrounded each ridge. And
> scores of them floated on the surface of newly formed (and newly moved!)
> lakes that dotted the area.
> Finally the road leads you out to Windy Ridge, which sits only a few
> unobstructed miles from the crater- and 2/3 as high. Mt St Helens blew out
> sideways and the result is a horseshoe shaped crater that sits facing NW.
> >From the NE, the setting sun's glow was being reflected out from the
> interior of the crater and seemed to underscore the power of the now
> dormant volcano.
> The rest of the mountain still retains the rugged beauty of it's three
> nearby sisters (including the iconic Mt Rainier.)  Large glaciers still
> cover its slopes and the ice's blue color combined with the volcanic ash's
> soft gray hue to produce a mix of deep and deeper purples and cool blues in
> the evening light . The edges of the glaciers seemed to have a dark border
> that reminded me of how two areas of watercolor glazes might overlap (the
> artist never sleeps). In all, the moutain and surrounding vista appeared to
> me to be one large three dimesional watercolor painting. Hmmmmm. I wonder
> whether a full size easle could pass as carry-on luggage.....
> Finally completing this illusion was the additional texture of the host of
> new, young trees that are growing everywhere. For those of you who are
> unaware, this blast site is now teeming with life. Except for a deep river
> of ash the runs SW from the crater, all of the landscape described above
> houses signs of renewed life in every form. Most striking was the odd
> result of such a large number of similarly aged/sized fir trees. For some
> reason, this results in a strange vibrating pattern across the terrain.
> Imagine a huge vibrating moire pattern, if you will.
> After a dramatic sunset that I will not soon forget, I drove out in the
> deepening dusk. By the time I reached the scorch zone, night had decended.
> But the afterglow of Parrish Blue still hung in the sky, serving to
> backlight the jagged silhouettes that lined the way. As I drove on, I was
> certain that no picture I had taken that day could possibly hope to
> represent what I had seen. And I was equally sure that any words I chose to
> describe my trip would fall just as short....
> Frank
> Frank Ippolito
> Principal Scientific Assistant
> Dept Vertebrate Paleontology
> American Museum of Natural History
> 79th Street & CPW
> NY    NY    10024
> (212) 769-5812
> [log in to unmask]

"Occasionally you may witness healing phenomena
that could shake you out of your wits."
--Daskalos Spyros Sathi

M.K. Rasmussen
Real Life Art
Baltimore, MARYLAND
This e-mail address is maintained for personal and professional communications.
Please do
not publish or distribute it. If you wish to submit contact information on my
to any organization or company, please use [log in to unmask] instead.
Thank you.