Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hike to the Overlook Mountain House Ruins

Watercolor, 7.5x15" across a two page spread 
of a handmade hardbound Arches 140# Rough watercolor book
Image can be clicked for a larger, sharper view.

Last weekend, my husband and I climbed two and a half miles up Overlook Mountain to the ruins of the old Overlook Mountain House. All that effort really does pay off once you arrive at the dramatic structures. I sat on a stone stairway opposite the main building to do this quick watercolor and enjoyed every second of it! I hope to do some paintings and sketches from photos I took there, but I wanted to do at least one on location. The bugs were horrendous, and in spite of using DEET spray that was 98% pure, I got bitten to pieces in the process. Hiking down was a lot easier than going up there. I am so glad that I have some really lightweight painting/sketching gear now to take along on trips like this one.


  1. Honestly, Jamie, I don't know whether to love or fear you...because I have spent more than a few dollars trying out your recommendations. Really glad about Stillman & Birn, but scared about how much my messenger bag weighs now (I missed the part where you must've pared your big bag before you went mountain hiking with your husband.)

    Honestly, your sketches, your supply lists, your travel stories are all inspiring. I've already increased my Stillman & Birn sketchbook stock from NEVER-HEARD-OF-IT to OOOOH LA LA.

    Really, it's amazing how influential you've been to me in the past few months.


  2. Very nice! 'Was there last October!

  3. Raye, I'm so glad I've been able to help you find supplies that help you to do what you love doing! This year I have really pared down my hiking bag to be able to paint and sketch, since I've been hiking to most of my painting locations. I did a big backpack search and found an ultralight pack and a way to carry very little with me. I will do a post on it soon with a "Show & Tell"! I actually have four options for sketching materials. Two are backpacks, one is the Nomadic Wise-Walker Messenger Bag, and one is a large case with shoulder strap that a friend gave me (specifically outfitted to hold all my Pitt Big Brush Pens, Pitt (regular) brush pens, and assorted other stuff). I've already showed the messenger bag in a post, but I will share the others too as soon as I can take some pics and get them uploaded. We find ourselves in so many different situations; no way can just one bag or pack do all the work. If I need to fly somewhere, I take the messenger bag on the plane and pack the lightest backpack in my luggage. When I have the luxury of being able to carry more, I do! Then I use my larger backpack, or bring my case with the shoulder strap and Pitt Pens (and other stuff).

  4. I love the rich colors of the building...

  5. Catharus and Kate, thank you so much! I always take lots of photos and think I will do more from the photos, but the reality is that there's nothing like being there on location, and I rarely feel inspired to pull out the photos and work from the camera's viewpoint instead of my own! Thanks for liking it so much and helping me to appreciate those magical moments we have when working directly from the source.

  6. Jamie- I always find your watercolor sketches so inspiring!! I think I need to put down the oils for at least a weekend- and pack up something light like this gear you've mentioned.

  7. I hadn't seen this before, Jamie, and it is wonderful. I love the colors you used in the building.

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