Artist Residency – Hypatia-in-the-Woods – Part 2
Shelton is the westernmost city of Puget Sound. It is located north and west of Olympia, WA. As with all my residencies thus far, my reason for wanting to participate in this residency was to be inspired by the surrounding natural areas. Before arriving, I had researched some places to go. There were also books and maps at the house and a journal with notes from previous residents. One of the notes suggested visiting Priest Point Park in Olympia. That was the first place I ventured to.
I had planned to do some tiny hike-and-paint artworks when out exploring nature and had brought my backpack and painting kit with me. Although Priest Point Park is a city park, it felt more remote as I walked though the forest with tall trees (picture above). The paths went up and down and at one point led down to the water of Budd Inlet and Ellis Cove. From the beach, I could see the city. Sitting on a log, I painted my 3″ square canvas. I had not done any for a long time and felt rusty. The day was gray and so was the painting.
With only two weeks, I had to decide which places to visit with my limited time. Another day, I went to Twanoh State Park. It had a beach and picnic area on the water and, across the road, trails to hike. I hiked up the trail and caught just a glimpse of the snow topped Olympic mountains through the trees. Back at the beach, there were lots of oyster shells. It is an area where oysters are planted so that people can come harvest them.
After several rainy days spent inside, my next adventure took me to the Theler Wetlands. The day was cloudy, but not rainy. The wetlands were beautiful with birds flying around and bushes of serviceberry and other spring flowers in bloom. I did my tiny painting out on the board walk and continued walking the trails.
I wanted to go to Olympic National Park and hike, but I read that the trail I wanted to take still had snow on it. Instead, I hiked at Big Creek Trail in Olympic National Forest. Walking through the forest, there weren’t any grand views. But the confluence of rivers with several small waterfalls was lovely. However, I did get caught in a pelting hail storm.
On what I thought would be the nicest day weather-wise, I drove to the coast. It was about a 2 hour drive to get to Damon Point at Ocean Shores. It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed the beach, looking at rocks and shells. I saw bald eagles and a seal swimming in the water. I also went to Griffith-Priday park on the coast.
Over two weeks, I managed to do six tiny hike-and-paint artworks in different locations. I also did more driving in two weeks than I probably have in the past year since most of the locations were at least a half an hour drive away. What else did I make during my artist residency at Hypatia-in-the-Woods? Stay tuned.