American Camp Sunrise, December 16, 2020
Pastel 9h x 18w in. unframed
Painted at sunrise on a freezing cold morning along the upper Redoubt Road at American Camp National Park on San Juan Island. I painted until my hands went numb, then finished this in my studio. Loved the light bounce of the horizon line over the Straits of Juan de Fuca and the warm tones of the grasses in the large fields in the foreground.
A little history note: This is a place that looks exactly the same as it did when the U.S. occupied the camp during the infamous Pig War that started in 1859 over a boundary dispute with Great Britain, with the only war casualty being a pig. U.S. troops, under the leadership of Captain George E. Pickett, more noted for his other military career as a major general for the Confederate Army during the civil war, occupied this camp until 1874. A German arbiter ended the dispute between the two countries, which could have easily been called an attack of good sense. The British Camp was located about 15 miles away on the west side of San Juan Island during the "war." Both sides had naval warships at anchor and ready for action at their respective camps.