Artist in Residence – Day 4

Half Dome Photo
Half Dome from Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, © 2017 Trowzers Akimbo

No painting the morning of my 4th day as a Yosemite Renaissance artist in residence, I had to drive down from the cabin to teach art to two 5th grade classes in Mariposa. It’s a twelve week teaching artist program on behalf of the Mariposa Arts Council and I still had 3 weeks left.

There’s been no cell phone reception on my AT&T phone, while I’ve been up in Wawona. The artist/photographer, Kerby Smith, who’s going to be with me over the next three days, tells me his Verizon cell phone is working in Wawona, so I picked up a Verizon burner phone in town, before I headed over to the school.

I’d agreed to meet Kerby at tunnel view, above Yosemite Valley, when I was done at the school. He wanted to share a couple of possible locations for painting in the valley, he’d discovered through his photography outings. I’ve learned that photographers search locations like Yosemite, for those special spots from which to take the money shots and they’re very protective of them. If a photographer friend ever offers to share one of these with you, take them up on it, it’ll be well worth your time.

So, Kerby showed me ideal settings for painting Bridal Veil Falls (more powerful than I’ve ever seen it, due to the warm weather snow melt) and El Capitan: a location with the Merced River and a blooming dogwood in the foreground. Too late to start a painting that day, we agreed to return tomorrow.

On the way back to the cabin, we discovered they just opened the road to Glacier Point, so we traveled on up. Still a lot of snow up there. It was cold and windy and clouds had started rolling in from a predicted storm to occur the following day. Among other vistas, I snapped the above shot for future painting reference. We returned to the cabin, well after dark to discover there were absolutely no signal bars on our Verizon phones. Without cell phone reception or an Internet connection, we were forced to talk to each other all night.

Under concern of the predicted storm, we decided to rise early and head back to Yosemite Valley to paint. Even if the weather services forecast was correct, maybe we could sneak in a few hours before the rain hit.

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