As my wife and I visited Quinns Hotsprings for a few days I had a very interesting plan that I truly wasn’t sure would play out in my favor. I think there are a lot of things you could bring by a hotel pool and not get odd unusual glances from folks. But a plein air box and a large video tripod are not one of those items.
Admittedly a large part of my heart was also concerned about how my wife would feel about me bringing all this equipment in behind her knowing that a lot of people would be looking our way and she is not someone who appreciates or prefers being the center of attention. But she was supportive and helped me carry the gear in.
I was certain at some point some of the pool attendants would come by and kindly put their hand on my shoulder and do that “Um… sir… You can’t do that here” but instead I saw small grins and quiet exclamations not only from the staff but also from other swimmers.
As the process began I was thankful to huddle myself in a shaded corner and stay fairly inconspicuous but I did slowly see some of the more aware of the pool goers come up with a gentle but pointed question. “Was painting anyone in particular?” That was the question. I could see coming from miles away. Not a lot of individuals escaping from the real world to Paradice Montana wanted to be concerned about their privacy, let alone their self conscious swim suit bods. No one expected to go swimming and end up in a painting forever marking them in this moment. Thankfully once I mentioned I was more focused on the scene itself instead of the people I saw the inquisitiveness quickly turn from protective to pleasure.
The area I placed myself was directly next to the locker rooms and my target was a thin area between two rocks showing a waterfall and the rising mountain wall directly behind the pool. I decided not to be too picky with my subject considering I figured my time there would be cut short because someone would report the creepy guy constantly looking their way with a paint brush. So using my white charcoal pencil I did the quickest rough draft of the area I possibly could, and prepared to paint a much in as short a period as I could so if I had to I could pack up and run. I figured it would only take one person to mess up my goal.
Little did I know, this would be “day 1” of my painting by the pool. And the picture above was after two. But. That is not even my favorite part.
Stick around because this story continues!