Camp at Lake O'Hara, watercolor, 1916
Late summer 1916- almost a hundred years ago, John Singer Sargent camped at the Canadian Rocky Mountains and painted Lake O'Hara. In his words:
" it was raining or snowing, my tent flooded, mushrooms sprouting in my boots, porcupines taking shelter in my clothes, canned food always fried in a black frying pan getting on my nerves, and a fine waterfall which was the attraction to the place pounding and thundering all night. I stood it for three weeks and yesterday came away with a repulsive picture. Now the weather has changed for the better and I am off again to try the simple life (ach pfui) in tents at the top of another valley, this time with a gridiron instead of a frying pan and a perforated India rubber mat to stand on. It takes time to learn how to be really happy." (From this book here.)
There is a photograph of Sargent in the book, he is painting with an umbrella strapped to his lower leg. I thought it completed the image of his mind's map.
I am happy just reading this, and delighting in the watercolor above.
(late summer 2013, Lake O'Hara, tents, gridirons, paintbrushes, hats, umbrellas, friends with musical instruments, ...anyone?)