Cypress Hills, Diana Chabros, Frenchman River Valley, Grasslands National Park, ink drawings, Joseph Naytowhow, landscape, prairie, prairie wildlife, Sky Story B&B, Val Marie Saskatchewan, Wallace Stegner House, watercolour paintings
I have been wanting to return to SW Saskatchewan ever since my April artist’s residency at the Wallace Stegner House in Eastend so that I could further explore, photograph and sketch the awe-inspiring landscape in the region. So Michael and I decided to take a road trip there the first week of October 2013.
This is a gorgeous time of year to travel past ripening and harvested fields, and the Saskatchewan slogan Land of the Living Skies is evident in the beautiful autumnal equinox light.
When I was at my artist’s residency, I met a lovely artist couple, Diana Chabros and Joseph Naytowhow. They run the Sky Story B&B in Val Marie, Saskatchewan (and they offer an artist discount!) so we decided to stay there.
Diana and Joseph were amazing hosts, and took us out for a day on the Grasslands National Park. I had not been to this park before and I will be visiting it again. It is truly an awe-inspiring, epic landscape. No signs of human habitation – no fences – no wires – for as far as the eye can see. And the eye can see a very great distance indeed.
I took the half-marathon walk, and then I perched myself on a warm, sunny slope to sketch while Michael, Diana and Joseph continued on the full marathon hike.
Here are a few of my ink and watercolour sketches. As I sat and took in the landscape, my sketches became simpler and more reflective.
Michael and I went to another part of Grasslands National Park the next day, along the Frenchman River Valley.
We saw more wildlife on this trip than I have ever seen in the mountains.
On the way back home, we stopped at the East Block of the Cypress Hills in Saskatchewan, just a couple of hours away but a completely different landscape at 1275 metres.
As we left Saskatchewan and crossed the border to Alberta, I sketched the farm land that links our prairie heritage.
Goodbye Saskatchewan – we’ll be back!
Posted by Marlena Wyman