From Then:

A lot has happened since February, so much that this blog needed a new name “The Appalachian Trail: in the footsteps of an artist”.  Here’s a one-paragraph highlight: I have continued to paint and am gradually beginning to come into a place that my art is selling.  The inspiration is the same: communicate a moment or scene outdoors to get others out to experience nature.  I dare to say I’ve become an artist, but can’t describe myself now without mentioning “what I do”.  I feels good.  I now sell much of my work through, auctioning the paintings in as well as to family and friends. Also, I found a great friend, and fellow artist from Columbus, TX that is helping to support my future as an artist (thanks Amanda!!).  In the AT world, this is called a trail angle, a person giving without expectations. She has raised awareness of my art, and found funding for workshops as well as part of the AT trip.  Secondly, I’m now enrolled in a welding certificate program to become both a pipe welder for the oil industry and try my hand at welding-art!

Plans for the next AT trip:

I’ll return to the AT, but as an artist.  I plan on documenting the experiences of the trail with plein air (outdoor) paintings along with the journal writing. To my knowledge this hasn’t been done.  In the week I was on the trail, I found words were so inadequate to capture the moments now pasted in my memory.  Drawing or painting would fill in the gaps to more fully tell the story of the trail.  It’s my way of giving back to the AT Trail community.  The volunteers who maintain the trail, the trail angels who live on a “pay it forward” system and those who’ve experience the deep life-changing quality in their own AT journey.

As for the brain tumor, I’ve now completed a full year of “chemo” and the latest MRI (last Wednesday) showed absolutely no signs of growth since surgery. Whew! Now, I’m living back in Harker Heights with my parents (near the welding school) and fully intend to convert them to neighborhood biking – techno-nerd gardeners.

The Blog from Here:

This blog will morph into getting ready for the AT as an artist. As I prepare, I’ll mostly be posting on backpacking-painting adventures and the ever changing gear improvement.