arid

How quickly I've forgotten the cool temperatures of last week as I type this out on the couch in front of the fake breeze provided by our little oscillating fan. It's hot and dry outside and in. My jeans are folded up and being purposefully avoided in their drawer. I'm constantly sticky. Ah, summer.

FML.

I don't mind these conditions if I impose them on myself voluntarily. Like when we were camping near Lake Diefenbaker in Saskatchewan a few weeks ago and decided to go for a hike in the sand dunes. That particular hike was very hot and dry, and also really beautiful. There was so much interesting vegetation along the path leading to the head of the dune; migrating aspen forest, alpine like ground cover, and cactus!

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So of course, I decided to make some drawings from memory of these gorgeous, flowering little pointy gems.

  prickly pear I,  mixed media on cold pressed paper, 8x8(in)The, $80 + GST,  2018

prickly pear I, mixed media on cold pressed paper, 8x8(in)The, $80 + GST, 2018

  prickly pear II,  mixed media on cold pressed paper, 8x8(in), $80 + GST,  2018

prickly pear II, mixed media on cold pressed paper, 8x8(in), $80 + GST, 2018

The sand dunes (or dune, rather) was pretty spectacular. There were small islands of trees and foliage dotting the head and the incline leading up to the head of the dune. The dune itself was heavily ringed with foliage; the edges of a slowly dying aspen forest and the fresh growth of small prairie shrubs and bunch grasses. The sand was soft and fine and got into everything as sand does.

  the sandy path leading to the edge of the active dune.

the sandy path leading to the edge of the active dune.

  making my way up the 'path' to the head of the dune. this photo does not show clearly how steep the sandy climb actually was.

making my way up the 'path' to the head of the dune. this photo does not show clearly how steep the sandy climb actually was.

I had brought my sketchbook with me and made some drawings in it while we were there. The shapes, colors and textures of this area were firmly stuck in my mind a week or so later when I was manning my tented space at the Whyte Avenue Artwalk, so I busied myself trying to capture these things from memory. The textures in the sand made by the wind were especially mesmerizing, thus the many repetitive lines in the dune drawings.

  sand dune I,  mixed media on cold pressed paper, 8x8(in), $80 + GST,  2018

sand dune I, mixed media on cold pressed paper, 8x8(in), $80 + GST, 2018

  sand dune II,  mixed media on cold pressed paper, 8x8(in), $80 + GST,  2018

sand dune II, mixed media on cold pressed paper, 8x8(in), $80 + GST, 2018

At one point during our visit the clouds mirrored the textures in the sand perfectly. I haven't made that drawing yet, but I will. I'm definitely not done with this sand dune as subject matter, there are just some other projects I need to turn my attention to first. Until then, I thought I would share my impressions so far. It seemed especially fitting in this heat. Life imitating art and all that, right?

Stay cool and hydrated, friends.

These drawings are unframed and ship easily. Shipping is $6 on these as they can be sent as an oversized letter.