Sketching Your Year

Having never married nor had children, I don’t have the usual topics for holiday letters. So I include artwork and stories of my year’s events in the annual reports I send out to friends and family across the country. To celebrate my 79th year, I followed the Lewis and Clark Trail from Pierre, South Dakota, as far as Three Forks, Montana, where both my budget and my body gave out. I alternated between camping and staying in a motel for an almost three-week jaunt.

It was great fun to sketch and paint the sights along the way, albeit very frustrating to try to capture the landscape along the Upper Missouri River on a five-day float trip through country recorded in 1830 by Karl Bodmer. (He must have laid in watercolor over pencil sketches in the evenings on his trip!) We were floating at about 8 mph, so my sketches had to be done very quickly.

Jack Hines has taught art in various forums, including 25 years with the Zemsky/Hines Pro Arte Workshops. A signature member of the National Watercolor Society, he now paints full time in Montana.

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