"When I agreed to chaperone my kid's class trip to Crater Lake in Fall 2013 I was pretty sure I'd get a couple paintings out of it. On past school trips, there was often been a break here or there to set up and paint a little. Like several of her classmates, neither of us had seen the lake. Then the federal shutdown happened and the teachers and students had to decide whether or not to cancel the trip. They went ahead with it, partly in the hope it would re-open and partly from an ethos of "will travel anywhere for a good civics lesson."
To reschedule for later in the year wouldn't have worked; it was already a very cold October.
We camped near Ft Klamath at Jackson F Kimball State Recreation Area. We made daily excursions to accessible points on the edge of the park. Mostly we just tried to keep the kids active and warm.
My oil paint box stayed packed up, there was no time to stop and pull it out. I made a handful of quick notebook drawings instead.
We never found a legal way up on the rim to see the lake. Ranger Nuemann, on skeleton crew at the south gate, gave a fine description of the lake to the students, a totally vivid depiction of high snow banks and blue water. He talked about his history working with the Park Service. But he couldn't let the students up the road for a peek.
So no color notes or photos to work with, but this year I thought I'd try and paint the cold edges and tantalizing frustration of the 2013 trip using the notebook drawings.
This past June we made a quick family visit to Crater Lake with a detour on our drive to Colorado. We were in the park long enough for a few quick pencil sketches and for me to lose my notebook; it fell off the car roof and was totally gone. The notebook met me in Colorado one week later, shipped from Idaho.
Along with a view of Crater Lake from the wayward 2016 sketchbook, I'm including several smaller paintings of some lakes and reservoirs. None of which makes up for our failure to overcome congressional gridlock.
Ranger Nuemann was right, it's a great blue." Gabriel Liston, 2016