Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Idyllwild


Just finished a workshop at Idyllwild Arts, a fantastic private arts academy in the San Jacinto mountains of Southern California. During the school year it serves as an arts-focused boarding school for grades 9-12, and adult classes are offered during the summer. The campus is spread over a mountain and consists of about 100 buildings in a breathtaking setting. Last night while wandering around I happened on the ampitheater and was quite taken with six enormous canopies that cover the hillside leading down to the stage. Sunlight was streaming through them and it was beautifully surreal. There are lots of artists visiting here teaching courses in clay, metal, sculpture, painting, Native American arts, etc. I had a great group of people, and look forward to returning again.

When I drove here from Santa Ana airport last Friday and started up the mountain I quickly got a sense of how remote the little town of Idyllwild is -- like going back in time, and I fell in love with the place. Proximity to airports is a bit of a problem, otherwise I wouldn't mind moving here. Today I hiked along Strawberry Creek and took a lot of photographs. Tomorrow it's back to LA area meeting with DaVinci and hanging out in Laguna. Rough, huh? :)










24 comments:

Mary Sonya Conti said...

absolutely nothing like being in the mountains! Really like the photos as well. If not stimulated to paint in that setting your in a coma!

RHCarpenter said...

I can see those canopies being incorporated into a painting in the future, Nick. Sounds like you had - and will have - a fabulous time. Won't be long 'til you'll be our part of the states again!

Billie Crain said...

I'm really taken with those photos of the canopies. When I think of So. Ca. I don't think of places like Idyllwild. Sounds like a very cool place to spend time.

masmoulin said...

Ah, the handsome ! and also the beautiful work !
All the best
Pierre

joel said...

i wonder if this forest has misty winters? otherwise how else would i be able to paint it? (har har self-deprecating humor).

looks like a magical place indeed.

Marta said...

How beautiful place it is!

perugina said...

Did you get a bit hot hiking along Strawberry Creek or something?! :)

wayne said...

Nick, sure looks like a surreal place to hold a workshop! Looks and sounds idyllic. To have been able to teach in such conducive surroundings must have been a bonus and a real buzz!
cheers, wayne

frankeber said...

Did you hike up to Tahquitz or Suicide rock? One of my favorite climbing spots in SoCal, also plenty of bouldering abound.
Great place for a workshop, wish I could've attended too.

Nancy Lee said...

Love the mountains and the canopies! Beautiful spot. One of those canopy shots, in particular, would be great incorporated into one of your photoshop creations for painting! :)

Nick said...

Mary - nice to see you, and yes it was a refreshing change of scenery. People actually live in that little town, I'm jealous!

Rhonda - I found out those things are military parachutes...what an ingenious idea. They have a jazz fest there every summer, this year David Benoit will be playing.

Billie - it would be a great place to raise a child,wish I could I have two houses

Pierre - it had been much too long since I climbed around like that. quite exhilirating!

Joel - hope you might get over here, be a worthy addition to the itinerary. I'd like to climb the fabled Suicide Rock, and need a willing partner. You bring the Foster's!

Marta - I don't have a whole terribly lot to say that's good about this country, but I'll say one thing: it has just about every kind of scenery you could wish for. That is enough to recommend it, but unfortunately we are destroying it daily. By the minute, actually. :(

Patricia - ha ha, I couldn't resist. But yes, it was hot, very hot.

Wayne - not as hot as the desert in Oz, but hot enough for this Iowa boy. A very interesting place, Wayne, one which stimulates the neurons...I did seem to have an effervescent feeling and was processing information at an accelerated rate. Or was that the elevation???

Frank - didn't get to that this time, but I might be back. I understand it is that rock that served as the benchmark for climbing difficulty. If I get to Nick's Base Camp, I'll be happy. :)

Nancy - hard to come down...not just from the mountain, but from the S.Cal high! heheh Great time in Laguna, too. Yet another place I'd like to live.

Tonya Vollertsen said...

Wow Nick, did you feel guilty taking money for the workshop considering it was such a beautiful place to spend time? Must have made it like no work at all!
Congrats on the Dancer painting from your last post, that is one of my very favorites of yours. Such a great piece!

Cynthia said...

ahhh what memories you brought back for me...I used to go to USC for modern dance workshops in the summers up there...wonderful place to be for 6 weeks with so many other artists of all mediums. We used to dance under such canopies at times. A very beautiful, inspiring place to work and learn.
I would recommend it to everyone.

W. K. Moore said...

Lovely selection of photos - as the Estonians say, "Makes my face want to smiling." - or was that Latvia? Anyway my face wants to smiling seeing the beauty here. What a switch to be in a place where there exists a majority of serenity dotted with moments of turmoil as opposed say to a typical city where there is stress with little islands of peace. Well Nicholas welcome back to the world.. may you be on one of those islands right now --

Nick said...

Tonya - shhhhhhh, don't tell anyone!

Cynthia - it's obviously an escape destination, but I also think I could live there...if they had an airport! (insert rolling eyes emoticon)

Bill - as long as Chicago Artist and the Bside are covering overhead and keeping showrooms open, all is right with the world. Idyll - wild is the perfect name for the place, lets hope it remains as both.

Nancy Goldman said...

I was so upset when I found out that I was going to be out of town during your workshop. It would have been a perfect location for me to get to so I guess I will just have to be patient and wait for you to return to California. It's good that we have Idyllwild and Laguna Beach to lure you back. In fact, I think Laguna Beach would be a perfect place for your next workshop....

siete said...

What an idilyc place, Nick, It must have been an unforgotten experience, sure. It seem as if it were the paradise, and in certain way it must be. The distances often are an obstacle, but in this case I think it's the best way to preserve the place.Felicitations for your workshop, and it should be good to see some of the works, if possible.

Take a big, big hug.

Enrique.

Nick said...

Nancy - if you live somewhere around Idyllwild I envy you! I have another workshop this year for California Watercolor Assoc. I also think I'll be doing one in San Clemente this year or next. Laguna is a beautiful place, would love to live there! (that makes about a dozen places I want to live)

Enrique - good to see you dear amigo, and I'm sorry for not making the rounds of the blogosphere lately. I hope to see you this fall, please stay in good health!!

jane minter said...

your work takes you to beautiful location nick ..wonderful photo of the tensile structure ..reminds me of the japenese paper latterns . what ..congratulations on "La Viva Breve" you must have alot of space to work in

Nick said...

Jane - I better enjoy the travel while I can..not sure how much longer it will be possible to fly around in airplanes and go to nice places to paint!

Charo V said...

Yes, very, very rough my dear.... You sure know how to pick places for workshops, it does look gorgeous though.

Angela said...

I have heard it is a beautiful place. Wonderful photos.

Anonymous said...

Jeesh , You see the most Beautiful places !
You have an Angel on your shoulder .
June

Nick said...

Charo - heading back here summer 2011, might bring the girls. I think they'll love it, too.

Angela - good photos everywhere in Idyllwild

June - trying to fit New Canaan into the 2011 itinerary!