Elk Camp Painting Session – October 21, 2014

One of the things I love most about being a View 22 artist is the chance to explore new areas of the Valley. Just when this Jackson Hole native starts to believe she’s “seen it all”, I am invited to a new property. After been given the “Elk Camp” assignment, I feel very honored and grateful to have the opportunity to visit this special place.

The entrance winds through a stand of trees thick with cottonwoods. It is late October and our brilliant fall colors have given way to naked branches and a monochromatic palette of browns and grays. I fear that I missed my chance to see this area in its autumn glory. As I drive among the towering trees, I try to imagine what they looked like a few weeks ago when they were gilded. What I can determine is that, throughout the year, this area is clearly prime elk habitat providing lots of cover, lots of grass and quiet space to roam.

I am surprised that we don’t hear bugling considering that we are paying our visit in late October, but I am happily aware of the stillness and the remarkable quiet. Not a blade of dry grass is rustling. We unpack art supplies near a side channel of the Snake River. The water is glass that reflects the delicate trunks of young cottonwood trees. It is precisely the stillness that inspires my creativity today. It is the stillness that we experience in natural spaces that connects us to the deepest part of ourselves and that which is beyond. I aspire to do a painting of the reflected cottonwood trees that will do the same.

-Kathryn Turner