I chose the Rendezvous Park (R Park) as my property for the View 22 collaboration with the Jackson Hole Land Trust. This year the Land Trust chose properties that were easy to access and that artist could visit several times. It was really nice to be able to visit the property regularly and develop a better understanding of the land.  I enjoyed seeing it change over time. I visited the R Park five or six times and each time, I developed a stronger connection with the land. The first few visits I wandered around aimlessly, not knowing what I was looking for and hoping to find inspiration. After a few visits I noticed that not only were kids attracted to the several large ponds and creeks throughout, it was also a vital resource for the animals in the area. During my visits I saw deer drinking from the brooks, Great Blue Herons fishing the shallow waters of the ponds, and a family of ducks used the tall grasses around the creeks for shelter. The water of the R Park is a circulatory system and it creates a vibrant environment not only for humans but also for many species of plants and animals. After realizing the importance of the water, I knew that’s what I wanted to focus on for my art project.

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During some of my earlier visits I noticed cotton flying off the cottonwood trees and landing on the ponds surface. It was then blowing to one side of the pond where it would build up into a white fluffy blanket. I thought it was quite interesting and beautiful and attempted to get enough photos for a collage. After reviewing the photos I had taken I decided that they were not good enough and I needed more. I was unable to return to the ponds for a few days and by the time I returned the cotton blankets had dwindled and it was not the spectacular scene it had once been. I had missed my window of opportunity! Slightly devastated, I moped around the ponds for a few more days before something new caught my eye. The sun was reflecting off a Mullen leaf that was floating on a pond.  I don’t know whether it had died and fell into the ponds or a young child had been using it as a toy ship to sail the great seas of the R Park, but it had my attention. The soft, fuzzy leaves with strong venation (the pattern of the veins) looked like rivers or creeks flowing. The edge of the leaf created a nice strong contrast against the dark waters of the pond. I quickly found a few more leaves to photograph. After, I went home to check the photos, already knowing I had what I needed.

MullenLeaf TwoMullen WaterOnMullen


-Scotty Craighead