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I've just returned from a 13 day Desert Wander. It's my first day back in the studio and I am avoiding the menial task of unpacking and reorganizing. There's also the to-do list to write up and a plan of productivity to execute and manage - but I am having a difficult time wrapping my mind around any of it. Being March 14th, everyone is talking about making pie and eating pie, so that's distraction enough to keep me from doing the necessary.

I have left the blue skies and warm temperatures of the southwest for a grey, wet, northern Utah March day. And the week going forward is forecast to be much the same. At least it's cozy to be inside.

I went on my Desert Wander for 3 main reasons. There are plenty of sub-plot reasons, but I'll just go over the main plot: to see the wildflowers, to collect colors, and to create interpretive landscape sketches.

The wildflowers were the absolute best in Death Valley, California. The superbloom is happening right now and if you still have an opportunity to experience it first hand, I highly recommend it. It was vast, impressionable, and memorable. I am so glad I decided to include Death Valley into my route as it wasn't in my original plans. Aside from the over abundance of blooms, the landscape itself was stunning and begs for me to return. I found more delightful desert blooms beyond Death Valley, little surprises tucked in along the banks of sandy washes and hidden along trails away from the road. I felt lucky to see a Prickly Pear show its fuchsia flowers (my first!) and hope to someday be in the desert at the right time to witness the magnificent blooms of the great Saguaro. 

Collecting colors for a felt project I've started called   M I N M A L   N A T U R E   wasn't quite as successful as I had originally imagined, but successful enough to move forward and I am happy to slowly progress this collection forward.

The interpretive landscape drawings were what I was most curious about. I had an idea of my approach, but wasn't exactly sure how it would develop. I think that's partly what I loved about it, the unknown and then the exploration to discover. As I progressed in the creative process, the main influencers for this project became: the principle of negative space, the influence of Impressionism, creating art on location, and letting the hand do the thinking. I took several different drawing and painting mediums with me, but ended up sticking with colored pencils and sketch/drawing paper - which was the idea initially. I am interested to also work with oil pastels and basic crayons. This will be an on going project [ LAND MARKS ] and I plan to fill many, many sketch books as I continue my Wanders. I am not sure what the end product will be yet, but I am off to a positive start and am plotting where to sketch next.

I will be writing more about these two projects, Minimal Nature and Land Marks, as they and I evolve.

If you would like to see more of where I went, I documented my trip via Instagram: @lorienhallstudio