Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rim Rock Trail Oil Sketches

 Sketches from Rim Rock Trail.

Clouds at Rim Rock Trail,  5x7,  oil on panel
This work is available – click here for purchase information

We have been having some usually warm weather lately. And seemed like the perfect opportunity to hit this trail.

Rim Rock Trail is in the Shawnee National Forest about nine miles east of the Garden of the Gods. While not as well known as Garden of the Gods, Rim Rock /Pounds Hollow Recreational Area  is just as scenic and a unique hiking experience.

 The Rim Rock trail meanders along a prehistoric Native American wall, winds along the rim with impressive overlooks and vistas leading to a large observation platform. From there you can descend down into the rocks through narrow passageways among massive cliffs and huge boulders. On the lower trail you can explore Ox Lot Cave, immense sandstone canyons and hike on to Pounds Hollow Lake or work back along the base of the bluffs to the parking lot - trail head.

The bare trees offer a great view of the bluffs and one gets a understanding of why this area was called “the pounds” by early settlers meaning “some sort of enclosure". And why early Native Americans used it as a fort.


 The rock formations and geology offer endless compositions and inspirations for a painting. However, what really caught my attention were the cloud formations moving across the rim of the bluffs with the winter trees along the horizon. There was a real sense of vastness and grander looking up and across the canyon that I wanted to capture. Inside of which you could not escape the feeling of being in a special and primitive place.

Rim Rock Ridge,  5x7,  oil on panel
This work is available – click here for purchase information

Overall, Rim Rock is just a spectacular piece of nature and a truly amazing trail.
A artist could find inspiration for a thousand paintings in just this one location.
We finished up this trip by stopping at the Garden of the Gods for a world class sunset.

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better". 
                                                ~Albert Einstein

Check out the links below for more info.
Explore - Question - Learn - Enjoy, Jim 

Trail notes from Gary Marks at Shawnee Hills
Directions to Rim Rock by Illinois Sierra Club
Map from the US Forest Service
Shawnee Forest: Illinois Hidden Gem