Days 7, 8, Return, and Conclusion

Day 7 – Saturday, August 13

7:30 – tent

Slept okay.  When I was asleep it was good, but I woke up a few times.  Once I woke up because I thought I heard a bobcat or something make that “rrrow” noise.  I think it might have been me/my mattress but idk.

I don’t feel so miserably lonely anymore, which is good.  I’ve worked so diligently the past few days that I don’t need to stay much longer to complete the project.  I may paint a little tomorrow morning before I leave, just to wrap up.  I also need time at home to wash all my clothes and pack up, because I haven’t even unpacked from Camp very much.  And since I’m moving back in a week from today, it’s probably good to get home Monday evening.

I’m going to do Kettle Rock today, hike back around noon, work on fixing Red Water, hike back to Kettle Rock, and hopefully finish it up.

On my last small canvas, I’m thinking I’ll do a water-dip sunset and then put my footprint (shoeprint) in the middle.  That way I’ll have one with some really pretty colors (reds and blues) besides green haha, because it does seem like nearly everything is green. #nature.

10:08 – Kettle Rock

I did a concept-type thing on my last smallest canvas (decided to use a medium one for my shoeprint).  It kinda looks like it was done with a pallet knife, but it was my finger.  I’ve left it out so that if it rains, it’ll get rained on.  It’s very overcast and windy.  I’m actually sorta hoping for like a 5 minute rainstorm just to get that canvas wet.


            Okay gonna do this now.  Wish me luck!

10:05 (pm) – tent

The Kettle Rock piece is very interesting.  It’s sort of an impressionism painting mixed with a collage.  The more I look at it, the less I hate it, but I definitely don’t love it.  I used Gorilla Glue on it and it got all over my hands, that plus a very hot fire tonight and I don’t really have much feeling in my fingertips.


            I ate my standard bagel lunch, added a few things to the continuous piece, and finished painting Leo onto his painting.  I still need a background on that though, and I’m not sure what to do.   I think maybe I’ll do a dirt and ash mix.


            There were clouds blocking the sunset, so my shoeprint painting will have to just be some fun colors/my imagination-enhanced sunset.  I started the fire earlier tonight to bake potatoes.  Man, those things take forever to cook.  I burnt my arm getting them out.  It doesn’t really hurt, but it doesn’t look great.  I put a fire on the extended piece in the same way I made the fire on my fire piece, with my poker stick on fire.


            I’ve been bored today, not really doing a lot of thinking.  I don’t have a lot to think about.  All the days run together too.  Like I think it was yesterday that I talked to Leo, the gecko/lizard, for like 30 minutes.  Definitely sound crazy.  I don’t even hardly remember doing Kettle Rock today, because I wasn’t hardly thinking.  That’s a really odd feeling.  Some people came to see Kettle Rock while I was there.  They were nice.

I’m glad I’m done tomorrow.  These past few days have been pretty peaceful, which is very nice, and I haven’t been feeling too lonely; but I’m getting really bored.  I’m ready for some more stimulation.  I’m thinking this coming week I’ll do laundry, unpack and repack, watch the Olympics, and blog about this project.

I’ll be glad to be around people tomorrow, but I think I’ll mostly be glad to take a shower.  I feel so grimy right now it’s getting a little intolerable.  I also hope to talk to A&P, thank them for letting me stay here, and maybe show them what I did.  I know they’ll ask.    Okay, falling asleep.  Pray for no rain tonight or tomorrow morning! Also a good night’s sleep! – Mollie

(PS. I’ve been hearing cows mooing…?)


Day 8 – Sunday, August 14

7:15 – tent

Slept well, but had very upsetting dreams.  Glad they were only dreams.

It’s cold this morning.  I heard that cow mooing last night, every time I woke up, and this morning.  I wonder if it’s stuck or lost or something.

So this morning I need to give Leo a background, do my shoeprint, make breakfast, and then figure out how to pack the car.


I also ought to figure out my friend’s schedule, so I can figure out if I should shower here/where I should go.  I may just shower here because it would be less inconvenient for everyone.  But there is that group here…idk, I’ll probably shower here.

My hands look disgusting.  I think it’s mostly from the Gorilla Glue.  I still don’t have the usual amount of feeling in my fingertips.

I have slightly mixed feelings about leaving.  On the one hand, there’s no one here I know/am friends with, so I can’t wait to see and talk to my friends.  Also I’m so stinking bored, especially with painting, that I’m looking forward to having different things to do.  On the other hand, it’s Camp.  And I hate to leave Camp.  Also camping has been fun/makes me feel cool and outdoorsy.  But as I say, Camp without friends is hardly Camp.  And camping alone, though eventually peaceful, is also a little exhausting.  I think mentally and emotionally as well as physically.  Because even though I sleep like 8 hours a night, by like 3 or 4 I’m so tired and by the time I lay down it takes me maybe two minutes to fall asleep.

One cool thing I mentioned a few days ago, that’s still one of my favorite things when I wake up, is that as the sun comes up, the trees sparkle.  It sort of reminds me of the flutterby bush from Harry Potter.


Oh man, if only you knew how much I’ve thought about Harry Potter, Downton Abbey, Hamilton, and Outlander, with some Game of Thrones sprinkled in too.  It’s ridiculous.  Like when I paint, those are the things I think about.  I analyze characters, make up small plots about their past, ponder their motives.  It’s no wonder I’m getting so darn bored.  I know most of those plots and characters inside and out already! Oh well.  Time to get moving.

I think I’ll keep writing for a few days, just to document re-entry.



Wednesday, August 17

So it’s been a few days since I left Carson’s Point.  Some things I’ve noticed since I got back:

  • When I’m watching the Olympics, the background noises of the crowd distract me a lot and I often think they are coming from my actual surroundings rather than my computer.
  • I in general am distracted by multiple things going on, for example, I went to dinner with my friend my first night back, and as she would tell me a story, I get distracted from what she was saying by other people in the restaurant and/or the multiple TVs.
  • If I get started talking, it can be hard to stop. Sort of a stream of consciousness, like how I’ve been writing in here, comes out of my mouth.
  • I can’t remember if I’ve said things out loud or just thought them, so I often find myself asking, “have I told you this already?”
  • I pay more attention to when it starts to get dark or if it’s raining, and feel mild stress with both followed by amusement at myself because I, and all my bedding, is inside, dry, and around electricity.
  • It’s hard to sleep without any sound. All summer, culminating in my trip, I’ve slept in a cabin or a tent, and all have screens through which I could hear the crickets and frogs.  The first night I was back, I was in a room that was dead silent.  It actually disturbed me some and I had trouble getting to sleep.  Since then, I’ve been sleeping with the windows open; although this is also because our AC isn’t working and I sleep in the stiflingly hot attic.

That’s mostly it.  I’ve basically not done a whole lot since getting back.  I drove all day Monday.  I did go to the beach yesterday with a few friends.  That was a lot of fun, but I was exhausted afterward; partly from being out and active in the sun all day, but also I think from interacting with people.  Today all I’ve done is laundry and watch the Olympics.  Go USA!


After rereading my journal entries and going through my pictures, I was struck by how much of a factor the solitude was, not only in the evolution of my pieces but also in my perception of my surroundings, myself, and how the two interacted.  My pieces evolved from more realistic to more conceptual.  As time went on, I began trying to add more of an impressionist element to my pieces and I began trying impose the concept of the images onto the piece by using elements of the image.  For example, the charcoal and burning of the fire piece and the collage-like Kettle Rock piece.  Experiencing this evolution in my artwork was fascinating, and I hope to continue to develop my personal style, drawing from the experiences of this project, in the future.


  1. bgstephenson says:


    This was a really interesting idea for a Monroe project. I found it especially thought provoking to read since I did something similar for mine (hiked through the Smoky Mountains and wrote a creative nonfiction piece about it.) I also found the solitude changing the way I thought and the way my journal read- it was exciting and I felt outdoorsy, and then it felt normal, and then I was very ready to go home. I’m curious if you prefered your pieces at the end to your pieces at the beginning. Maybe you felt that you wouldn’t want to live in solitude but if you were going to see the world clearly/ make really great paintings, you needed to be alone? It seems like this is what you expected at the outset, and I’d be curious to see what you thought by the end. I think it would also be interesting to try to paint some of what you did on your camping trip from memory once you’ve had some time at home. I think seeing the scene a second time as it’s colored by memory would be a cool follow up. If you were to do that I would also be curious to hear how much you thought the opinions or views of those around you bled into your work at home. ( I know personally I wouldn’t show my writing to anyone until I was sure it was done because I thought it would change the way I thought and felt about my trip, and then change how I wrote about it as a result. I think I told someone, “I don’t want you to throw off my vibes,” as if that made any sense. It was the only way I could think to describe the way that every part of your environment affects you when you’re creating something.)

    This a really interesting project and you came out of it with some really beautiful pieces. I really liked Kettle Rock especially. The way everything blends at the bottom perfectly captures that nice balance of order and randomness you see so often in nature. Thanks for sharing!