Seeking Solitude – Going Solo on the Trail

Being alone on the trail is a soothing, grounding experience. It forces a level of comfort with the self and the here-and-now that the distraction of company doesn’t offer. Getting comfortable with that is, however, a whole different matter.

Plein Air Painting on the Trail – A Gear Shakedown

Inspiration strikes everywhere on the trail – on the summit of a mountain or in the depths of a canyon, in the middle of the day or when the sun is quickly setting. A painting kit that’s light enough to carry, tough enough to endure the trail and quick enough to deploy on snack breaks or when the light is fading is essential for plein air painting on the trail! Here is my set-up:

Back with a Buddy

I’m back! A very complicated and rough pregnancy forced me to take a break from painting on the trails. It was all worth it because now I have a little buddy to take with me. This is Dakota Tayag-Jerz’s official welcome to the world post here on ArtXAdventure! I just got back from wheeling, rafting, camping and hiking in Moab and Arches National Park, UT. Dakota’s three month birthday was on the 19th and he’s already been to Big Sur CA, Sedona AZ, Moab UT, Joshua Tree National Park CA, and the plethora of trails available here in the San…

Creating Home

Introducing my good friends to the Bridge to Nowhere trail was something I anticipated with great joy. I knew they’d fall in love with its calming waters, riparian greenery and imposing geology. The weather was warm and the hike itself was simple as we cooled off in the river and found one of the many small camps where we put up the hammock and enjoyed the peace offered by the San Gabriel Mountains. The brutal summers take a toll on the river. The sunken levels mildly reroute the trail and expose banks of sand and granite that would be otherwise…

Everything Goes South on Rocky Gap Road

Utah went out the window when our two-jeep caravan crawled its way through highway gridlock past a big rig on its side. That’s when Mom’s ’92 Jeep TJ stalled. Instead of making the nine-hour drive to Moab to meet up with a good friend, do some rafting and some offroading, we wound up calling a tow truck on the side of a two-lane highway in the desert just outside of Las Vegas, NV. The noisy highway made a stark contrast to the expanse of golden desert shrub and the shadows of complex joshua trees cast by the tenacious noon sun. We…

Living on the Edge of Depression at the Grand Canyon

Still and quiet is not something familiar to a person who battles anxiety, depression and PTSD daily. Half of my mind is running on the toxic nitro fuel of fight-or-flight fear. The other half enduring the contortions of a mind that wants to die in a body that fights to live. It was spring break, my companions and I standing at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, our pent up road trip energy quieted at the edge of such splendor. Just one day ago I was a stressed out, lapsed ex-artist, over-achieving college student, an abuse survivor, an alcoholic,…