We had the pleasure of attending an art residency in February 2019 at the Dorland Mountain Arts Colony in Temecula California. Dorland is located on a 340-acre nature preserve in the mountains of Riverside County, 60 miles north of San Diego and 100 miles south of LA.
With blue skies and weather in the 60s, we spent each day traveling to a state park or ecological reserve for hiking and painting en plein air before heading back to our residency cabin to watch the sunset. While much of California is, as expected, sprawling with development, we found an abundance of public lands that preserved the state’s raw and natural beauty.
On our last day, we hiked the trail to Wild Horse Peak in the Agua Tibia Wilderness. At the end of the hike, we rock-hopped across a stream and as we started heading to the car we realized we were being passed by butterflies, dozens at a time. We sat down on the stream bank for over an hour as hundreds of Painted Lady butterflies flew by, on their journey from Mexico to the north. An amazing moment at the end of an incredibly inspiring trip, we hope to return to Dorland in the future for another nature-inspired artistic retreat.