Personally, I found that Lake Havasu City was a bit of a nothing town, just there to service the many snowbird RV’ers (I don’t mean the surrounding landscape, that’s great, just the town itself). Perhaps of interest to any travelling Brits, is that London Bridge is near there. Yes, the real London Bridge – bought and shipped over from London by an American in 1971.
There are some great places to paint everywhere in the surrounding landscape. We headed across the dam at Parker, over to the other side of the lake to paint the wilder landscape, including wild burros (turn right as soon as you cross the dam towards Black Meadow Landing). Lots of places to pull safely off the road and paint without having to hike for any distance. Be warned though, no RVs of any size are allowed over the dam. This is where I painted Red Rock Mountains.
Red Rock Mountains
My painting was really about the colours – the reds of the rocky outcrops against the flush of green from recent rains and the rich blue skies. Stunning. I’ve shown my painting and the photo of the same thing. I think it’s interesting to see what the eye sees but the camera doesn’t. For all you studio artists out there, I hope it shows why you shouldn’t just slavishly copy photographs!
Red Rock Mountains, 9 x 12 plein air pastel painting by Sharon Bamber
The Landscape Surrounding Lake Havasu City
Kern River Gorge
An interesting place on the journey, located between Bakersville & Barstow, was the Kern River Gorge. Also known as the Killer Kern for reasons that I don’t even want to think about. We weren’t expecting it – what a fantastic landscape. The gorge is narrow with a narrow road and not many places to safely pull out, but there were a couple of picnic areas. It would be worth investigating to see if there are places to stay along the gorge, so that you could access more of it for safe painting.