After she had moved to Calgary, my sister, Rebecca, often joined Mom and I, on our sketching trips that were fruitful and productive excursions. We painted continuously until dusk and photographed every site. The photographs and watercolors gave us the information, studies, and inspiration for the work eventually done in the studio. Initially, my mother had a blue Chevy van. If the weather was bad, we were able to sit inside and paint. Painting without distractions or interruptions meant that we could really focus and our facility as painters was enhanced. Sometimes we were rained on, or woke up to snow but we were determined and just kept driving, stopping, and painting. It was fascinating to see how we each chose a different aspect of the landscape to be our subject matter. Mom often said one should look for something exquisite and then turn around and paint the other direction. This stemmed from something Washington based critic, Andrew Hudson, had told her, that Renoir would set up a still life and then turn it around and paint the other side. One spring, my mother bought a Volkswagen camper van. This was perfect. We would no longer have to search for motels and restaurants in out of the way places. We could paint, cook, and sleep in the van. It also had screens on the windows so we could paint sitting inside it when the mosquitoes or flies were bad and not find it unbearable on a hot day.
My sisters and I also bought vans for outdoor painting. Not everybody seeing us out painting beside or in our vans understood we were artists. On one occasion while Rebecca painted near a ranch outside the city of Calgary, the rancher drove up, approached her, and checked to see if she was poaching cattle!