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Memorial Day weekend we camped overnight at Mississippi Palisades State Park in Savanna, IL.  It’s a beautiful park with lots of hiking trails, ridges, scenic overlooks, wildflowers, and…flies-clouds of flies!  Some of them were biting flies and they seemed to prefer the face/eyes.  They ended up driving us out early, but the first day we had a nice hike and I sketched for 15 minutes before succumbing to the hordes of flies on the second day.  When my face started to swell, we called it quits.  Perseverance and determination could only carry me so far…I knew I wouldn’t have much time so I skipped the pencil and went straight for the large brush and watercolor to block in the forms and try to get a feel for the color of the area.


Initial sketch © 2014 Karen A Johnson

Initial sketch
© 2014 Karen A Johnson

After I recovered from all the bites, I worked on the sketch some more at home.


Mississippi Palisades Rock sketch 11" x 14" © 2014 Karen A Johnson

Mississippi Palisades Rock sketch 11″ x 14″
© 2014 Karen A Johnson

Here’s some photos of the hike we took on Sunday…enjoy!