Still half asleep on a clear July morning, I found Kathryn Turner waiting for me near the entrance to the Bar B Bar Ranch, located on the West side of Gros Ventre Junction, heading the opposite direction from Golf & Tennis towards the Snake River. This was our first morning painting session, and it was interesting to see how much the difference of a few hours affected the light in the valley. I hopped in her car, and we chatted as we drove down the winding road towards the Bar B Bar. One of the things I love about Jackson Hole is how easily people of all ages talk to you; despite our age difference, Kathryn and I were able to talk just like I do with my friends at school!
We drove around for longer than it seemed, losing track of time in the peaceful and beautiful surroundings of the Bar B Bar – the wide open fields among the cottonwoods, the hint of the river in the not-too-far distance, and the Tetons rising above it all. Kathryn had a full schedule for the rest of the day, so when we checked the time we discovered that we needed to find a place to set up and start painting –quick! We eventually settled on a place in the trees, on the edge of a large meadow. The view of the vista from where Kathryn decided to set up her easel was incredible; it was amazing to see how her talented eye could pick this view out of all the possible options.
The best part of the outing for me was a surprise – Kathryn had brought an easel and paints for me to paint en plein air right beside her! Although I didn’t make much progress on my painting because of our time restriction, it was an unbelievable experience and a nice change of pace to trade my notepad and camera for a brush. If only every day could begin like this!