Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Olympic Rainforest

Driving down highway 101 in Washington State, we decided to head inland to explore the Olympic rain-forest. A small road winds its way inland up a river valley while the forest canopy got denser and denser.
We hiked on a short trail for perhaps an hour that highlighted the various forms of moss that inhabit the region. This secluded spot had a different coloring that anywhere else. The trees were Maples and they had an orange cast absent from all the other pines in the forest. Everywhere you looked moss covered and muffled the woods. Terry sat across the trail from me and read a book while I sketched.
As I worked a small cloud of mosquitoes began to dive bomb my ears. I borrowed some bug spray from Terry but the onslaught continued. I put on my rain gear so I could protect my ears with the hood, but the mosquitoes were so loud that I could hear them through the protective vinyl.
I spent just as much time swatting the mosquitoes as I did putting lines and tones on the page.
If this sketch looks rushed, you now know why. For whatever reason the mosquitoes left Terry alone. Usually the roles are reversed.
A large group of Tourists wandered by and they were all shouting at each other and snapping pictures of everything. I am pretty sure I ended up in a couple of those shots. When this sketch was done Terry and I piled into the car and headed back to 101 to drive down to the coast beaches.
On route, I got a call from Orlando Home and Leisure telling me that they didn't get the High resolution image I had e-mailed them before we left on this vacation. We were literally perhaps 50 miles from any Internet access so I drove and made time towards civilization. We stopped at several spots only to be told that they did not have access to the Internet. The tension in the car built.
When we got to the Lake Quinault hotel which had Internet access, I had to set up an impromptu Internet cafe in the local Mercantile. I sat on a freezer and got to work re-making a high resolution image to send the magazine. I had to move once to let a camper get 2 bags of ice from the freezer I was siting on. With the image finally sent, I checked my e-mails and let out a sigh of relief. The grey sky opened up and dropped a fine delicate mist for the rest of the afternoon.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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