Feb 15, 2010 – Painting A Day Project

Old Fall River Road

Old Fall River Road

For today’s painting, I decided to go back to the loosely painted landscape.  Something fairly quick.  Funny thing is that all of these little 6″x6″ paintings take me between 1 and 2 hours to do and the paintings you would think took upwards of 2 hours were actually very quick.  The thing is, I’m terrible for “piddling” or as some would call it, “noodling”.  The loose landscapes should go rather quickly because I’m not really trying to capture a lot of detail, just give the impression of detail…..well…..  My problem is that I tend to forget about the impression of detail and get caught up in actually trying to render the detail.  I know, shame on me…..that is what these little canvases are for, try to get me to loosen up, and, as they say, don’t sweat the small stuff!  A good mantra to follow, both in life and painting!

Today’s painting is based on a drive my hub and I took in Rocky Mountain National Park.  It is on a little, winding road, called Old Fall River Road.  This road was originally built between 1913 and 1920.  During the early building phases, all work was done by 38 convicts from the Colorado pen.  However, long before this road was built, the Native Americans used this same route to cross the Continental Divide, calling it the Dog’s Trail.  It is really a cool road but very narrow and, at places, can make for interesting travel.  The road has some hairpin turns and is shut down whenever there is a snowfall or ice on it.  They recommend you travel the road with a truck or SUV, however, you do see cars go up it all the time.  They also limit the road to no vehicle over 24 feet long.  Longer than that, and you wouldn’t be able to make some of the turns.  We had to back up in one turn and give it another go because of our truck length.  There are a couple of trail heads that take off from this road, a couple of waterfalls that you can get to within a very short hike, and normally, quite a bit of wildlife.  The road is only 9 miles long but don’t let that fool you, it is slow going and is meant for you to take your time on (even though you get some who will ride your tail all the way up….annoying as hell.).  Who wouldn’t want to take their time in the park?  It is gorgeous.  You get to see it all from this road, meadows, pine forests, treeline, tundra.  The weather can go from sunny to thunderstorms, to sleet and freezing rain, to snow all in one day……I’ve seen it.

I know, this sounds like an advertisement for the park but, it is absolutely one of my favorite places in the park and I definitely recommend going if you can.  I’ve gotten some amazing photos and seen some beautiful views from that drive.  We typically make that drive several times during our stay at the park.


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