The dealer finished servicing the RV while we enjoyed our weekend in Calgary, giving us an unanticipated two days that, at the last minute, we decided to spend Lethbridge, largest city in the semi-arid prairie of southern Alberta. Less than two hours from our final Canadian stop in Waterton National Park, we thought that this town of 90,000 would be a convenient spot for groceries, laundry, and a comfy RV park with WiFi where Dave could continue his programing while I finish posting a few paintings and photos.
Upon arrival, I was delightfully surprised to find a 43-page Arts Directory published by the city that lists numerous artists and art organizations with lots of information about their disciplines and contact information. Though a relatively small city, Lethbridge has a very strong art community, supported in part by Lethbridge University and two other college campuses.
Within two hours, I scheduled a painting date with landscape artist Diana Zasadny, and early this morning she took me to Cottonwood Park Nature Preserve—one of the largest urban park systems in North America with 16 square kilometres (4,000 acres) of protected land. Although very different from the mountain scenes I’ve been painting the past few months, the Oldman River and valley afforded beautiful views of rolling prairie hills and wide-open skies.
I thoroughly enjoyed painting with Diana, a self-employed artist, who takes advantage of Alberta’s nearby national and provincial parks and Montana’s Glacier National Park as well. In spite of initially setting up on top of an anthill (not a good plan), I loved the subtle intricacies of painting this expansive landscape. Diana shared with me that soon all of the trees along the river will turn a brilliant gold and I’m looking forward to receiving her photo of this spot in all it’s fall glory. Thank you, Diana, for taking the time to show me one of the treasures of Lethbridge. I hope we can re-connect in Waterton National Park later this week – lucky you to live so close!