Friday, March 16, 2012

An Iowa lowlander visits the Mojave High Desert of Joshua Tree, California: Part II


The morning of the first full day of our week long stay in Joshua Tree, I woke to dawn, framed by the silhouetted, jagged, boulder ridge, across the dry wash from our rental house. Affected by the change of altitude (3,800 ft above sea-level to Iowa's 810 ft), I slept poorly for the entire stay. The vastness and predominance of earth-tones of this stark landscape is awe-inspiring and daunting to my green-hungry, Midwesterner eyes.  Drawn from inside on Fabriano coldpress watercolor block with soluble 9B graphite stick, watercolor, and white Derwent colored pencil (7"W x 10"W). February 26, 2012.

Me on a hike on the other side of the ridge, pictured in the drawing above.

A 5B pencil sketch in my my pocket-size Moleskine of the Wonderland Ranch ruin in Joshua Tree National Park, February 29, 2012, while hiking the Wall Street Mill trail:

We saw lots of wildlife, both from the house and on hikes. Gambel’s Quail skittered around within view of our windows. A bobcat slunk by everyday and peered in at us. We saw coyote, jackrabbits, and kangaroo rats. On one hike, I came upon a paw print of a mountain lion in fresh mud.  My husband crossed paths with a fox carrying a freshly killed rabbit in its maw.  But the only record, either drawn or photographed, of fauna was this quick 5B pencil sketch in my carry-everywhere, pocket-size Moleskine.
Gambel's Quail
(misspelled in my pocket-size Moleskine and wrong date year!)

This ends the second installment of my Joshua Tree adventure and set of drawings. Still more to come from the High Desert.  Then onto what I drew the following week while staying in Venice Beach, a quaint corner of the Los Angeles metropolis. 

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