We’re Rachel and Stock Schlueter, two painters on a year-long journey across the country. We hope you’ll follow along, and maybe we’ll even see you on the road!
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Henry Horton State Park is an unusual one, it has it’s own golf course, restaurant and store -situated beside Duck River just south of Nashville Tennessee. We picked up Rachel’s son Tyson and his Basenji pup Spatz, who are now part of our traveling circus. Tyson is a media wizard and the idea is he will document our journey. Adding another person and a dog might be crazy, but then we have been known for quite some time that is our way of doing things. We are breaking camp this morning and headed for the Mississippi River. From there, we will make it up as we go, as usual. For the third post in a row; You guessed it, Red Barn. This one is in Tennessee, three states three red barns. I must admit this one was a struggle and I went back the next day and wiped out the entire lower half and repainted it. In the future I will post and talk more about all three versions. Talk soon! Thank you Patrons!
It’s the last day of the year 2016, and it seems like a fine time to reflect on this amazing journey. We are well past the halfway point and have reached somewhat of a geographical milestone. Up to now we’ve been in the west, ranging as far north as Pole Bridge Montana, just 20 miles from the Canadian border, then zig zagging all down through Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona, then into Texas to the southern tip of Big Bend National Park. We have seen elk, deer, buffalo, bear and antelope by the hundreds. We’ve talked with marmots, squirrels, chipmunks, bugs, bees, snakes, and birds of all sizes, shapes and descriptions. Some even talked back and had their own tales to tell. We have been, too hot, too cold, too tired, too old, and just right. We have been in the rain, wind, snow, hail, and shaken in the night by booming thunder. It has been a glorious time indeed. But in a way it has all been familiar, we are from the west so we know the west. It’s our back yard, so to speak. What is different about today is, Rachel and I are heading for parts unknown; we are in southeastern Texas, on the Gulf of Mexico headed east into a landscape totally unfamiliar. Funny thing, when we arrived here at Goose Island State Park just north of Corpus Christi, it was after dark so we had no Idea what it looked like. The first thing I thought of when I saw it this morning was Humboldt Bay, just a whole lot bigger. The weather is bad today, cloudy and 65 degrees. As we move east I’m sure it will be quite different. Bayous, swamps and gators we just don’t have in the west. All this is made possible and much more fulfilling by all of you who have followed and supported us along the way. It means everything to share it with all of you. Thanks and happy new year.
Photo by Rachel
We are slowing inching our way toward warm weather. When we woke up in Bisbee AZ this morning it was quite cold. The elevation is 5,300 which matters a lot in winter. We’ll hit Bisbee again in April, on our way back through to Sedona for the plein air event we’re scheduled to participate in, and it may still be cold! After we left Bisbee this morning we headed south thinking warmer weather, and found an interesting looking place on the map called Rockhound State Park in New Mexico. We love New Mexico and we kind of like rockhounding. Well, it’s one of the coldest places we’ve been to yet with the exception of the Grand Canyon’s south rim end of October. The wind is the culprit at Rockhound. The landscape is beautiful yet strange and kind of lonely. Jagged mountains shoot up off hundreds of miles of flat plains and the range looks slanted like it’s being blown by the wind…it probably is. Now that we’ve come this far we’ll stay for a couple days, then head for Texas and stay south for the winter. It’s time to find a beach and paint a palm tree.
This is quite a stunning landscape we’re fortunate to be camped in! My painting is a product of true inspiration. Not just for the amazing awe inspiring subject before me, it represents a shift in consciousness. Coincidentally it happened on the same day the Dekota pipeline was officially declined access. Talk about inspiration! It took a lot for me to make this painting…hear me out. If not for the support and inspiration and strength of others it wouldn’t exist. It’s the product of so much more than me. Folks coming together to get shit done, is what I’m talking about. We can move mountains and pipelines!
We waited out the storm which brought some spectacular cloud formations and dropped snow on the peaks just above the red rocks. We tried to setup a couple of times, but every time, it started to rain. Weather report promised sun the next day so we headed for camp and returned to paint with Susan in the morning. The morning was clear and snow hung on long enough to paint it. Our new friend Sedona plein air painter Susan Pitcairn showed us many spectacular vistas and introduced us to Vince Fazio at the Sedona Arts Center who is a fine painter himself and director of the Sedona Plein Air Festival. We showed him our work and he invited us to participate! So, it looks like we’ll come back through in the spring. They also have a big plein air event in the fall that we will apply for and hope to get juryed in. Stock painted Sedona Snows from just a block off Main Street. It’s fascinating to be in a town with such dramatic landscape looming all around. Don’t know how anyone gets anything done.
We are enjoying our stay at the Grand Canyon. As usual we need more time, but the weather is chasing us out. To add to the immensity of our experience here we had the great pleasure of meeting Joshua Been a fine young committed plein air painter. He really is quite a force in the field of plain air painting. It’s inspiring to meet such people.
Tomorrow we head out…back with more Grand canyon photos and video soon! Check us out on youtube!
painting by Rachel
We are in the thriving metropolis of Bluff Utah, it’s on the way to Monument Valley. We were late getting out of dodge, and it was getting dark so took the available camp site. It was nice, quiet and reasonable. We made a run of about 40 miles out to Monument Valley Park. It was like riding shotgun with the Duke and yelling at Shane to come back. It’s so huge it is an amazing ten miles before you even get there. Since we paid to get in we drove the road if one can call it that, through the park. Sweet bjezzes, what a rock infested bumpy rut mongering mess. The weird part is it was packed with tourists driving like they were on the Baja 500 cross country marathon. They must have all had rental cars. Stopped at Artist Point and viewed the spot where a zillion paintings have been done, easy to see why. Too damn many people. We stopped on the backside and I did this. I think it is called Totem Pole.