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This past Labor Day our family (Dan & I plus 6 of our kids) left early in the morning to go hike Mt. McLoughlin. Most of us had never made this climb. We started off very ambitious - laughing, skipping, talking and generally having a very pleasant time. After a while things started to get a little more difficult. Our pace got a little slower and we had to take a couple breaks. Thankfully we had come prepared with a lot of snacks, water and a lunch for when we got to the top. At one of our breaks I looked up at the path which seemed to be heading straight uphill! Oh joy! The hike seemed to go on forever and get harder and harder. Finally we were able to see the top (which was still an hour away). My first thought was "Are you kidding me? That looks dangerous!" But up we went, trying to encourage, bribe and force our younger 2 girls along the way. They were done and truth be told I was too. After a little over 4 hours we made it to the summit. I don't know if there are adequate words to describe the majesty of the valley below. Along the way I had caught a few glimpses parts of the valley, but it wasn't until we reached the top that the entire valley came into view.

I'm sure an artists journey is much like our hike up Mt. McLoughlin. In the beginning it is new, exciting and fun - a time to play and experiment with new-found supplies. Then it always seems to get a little hard. You might feel a little stuck, lacking a creative spark. Perhaps you are struggling to find the time to do your art. Or you don't feel you are good enough to continue. My plea to all artist - keep on going!!!! Don't give up!!! You might have to take a few breaks - don't make them too long. Be sure to have things that will inspire and motivate you on your artistic climb (like our water, food and snacks that helped us keep going). You will love the view from the top and will realize how far you have come as an artist.