For the past consecutive 22 years, during the last week of October I have met up with my best friend Richard Dunlap and set up camp on the Current River in the Ozarks of Missouri. We camp out, cook everything on a campfire with cast iron…..we catch up, we drink cowboy coffee, we trout fish, we read, we make stuff, we eat well, we sit around the campfire at night playing guitars and singing the old songs – we get rejuvenated !
Fall is in the air. My favorite time of year as the air gets a little crisp in the mornings, the leaves turn colors and begin to litter the ground with that musky smell that when mixed with wood smoke is divine.
If one is lucky we may have one friend that you can sit down with and communicate without ever saying a word and have a dang good conversation. Richard is that guy to me. He has a much higher IQ than I….he plays a wonderful 12 string guitar; I play 5 strings, rather poorly. We both usually catch our limit of trout each day. We “fillosify” about anything and everything and solve a lot of world problems. We were both born 150 years past our time and we both appreciate the old ways and distain a lot of our modern society. Storytelling, yep we do our share.
I usually take my Julian easel and do some plein aire painting. And, a few rustic furniture tools for whittling on some found wood. Richard will have about 5 bibles with him, all in different languages. He amazes me !
We meet up next Sunday the 23rd to set up camp and spend a week on the river. After returning home I will be completely rejuvenated and ready to live in the studio the rest of the winter – with a visual reservoir of inspiration. This may be part of the reason I paint the trees, the rivers, the streams, the rocks and all the beautiful things that the good Lord has given us to enjoy.
~ Gary Duncan, Fine Artist