Upon getting to know our artists, we are so often intrigued and amazed by what they do when they aren’t painting. Like all of us, there has to be more than work in their world. For Bethany Harper Williams, not only is her other life amazing, its extreme. Here is a little peek at the “Other Life” of Bethany Harper Williams.
“I love the outdoors, the mountains and the water, and with that a need to be active. Adventure Holidays are one way we, as a family, meet this need,” says Williams. “We have three boys we had to keep active, and we have instilled the same love of adventure in them.”
Whistler – top of Spanky’s Ladder – Williams family – Dec. 2009
Some of the favorite family holidays are ski holidays. Traveling to places like Whistler, Colorado, and Utah, they spend their days being outside together and their evenings just relaxing and enjoying family time. “For my 40th birthday, my twin sister and I, with our husbands, went heli-skiing,” she shares. Again, not just amazing, but extreme.
Heli-Skiing in British Columbia with my twin sister – 2003
Climbing was yet another adventure sport the Williams family turned into an Adventure Holiday.
“In December 2013 we climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with two other families. This was the first climb our family had ever done together. We were six adults and seven kids, ages ranging from 14 to 72,” Bethany shares as she sets the stage. “We followed the Limosho route which over the course of eight days took us through five climate zones.”
Kilimanjaro Summit – The Williams Family (Ryan, Dave, Bethany, Jay, Andrew) – Dec. 2013
Three days into the hike they celebrated her son’s 20th birthday and had one of the most memorable Christmases at 13,800 ft. “We each brought a light gift for a gift exchange and spent the late afternoon playing games and passing a football over and around the tents,” remembers Williams.
They reached the summit, 19,341 ft, with blue skies, in the early afternoon of Dec. 27. Then turned around to hike down to crater camp where they spent not the most comfortable night at 18,865ft.
“We culminated our trip with a safari in Tanzania. We were treated with many sightings of exotic animals. but spent a great deal of our time reliving and retelling stories from our incredible mountain experience,” she says. “However, the real highlight, looking back, was the camaraderie and discussions and the strong bond created by our adventure together. It’s a shared memory that won’t be forgotten.”
Now that Bethany and her husband Dave are empty nesters or what they call ‘Freebirds’, this past September they embarked on another challenging adventure…the Laugavegur Trail in Iceland. This is an 80-kilometer trail that starts in the interior and makes its way over volcanic rock, steaming fissures, gigantic canyons, expansive glaciers, and majestic waterfalls, ending at the ocean.
Iceland – Laugavegur Trail – Bethany & Dave – Sept. 2017
“It was a fundraising trip for Outward Bound Canada to help fund less fortunate people in distress to experience the therapeutic benefits of outdoor adventure,” says Williams. “As we carried our packs each day, we had time for personal reflection, as well as time to communicate with our fellow travelers. In the evenings we asked ourselves tough questions and had many thoughtful discussions amongst our new friends.”
As with climbing Kilimanjaro, trekking Iceland was more than just about the climb and the accomplishment. With both trips, there was a thoughtfulness and a self-awareness that during the hectic nature of day-to-day living we don’t allow ourselves the time for. “I came away from this trip refreshed and re-energized and thankful for all that I have,” she says. “It was actually when I came back to civilization in Reykjavik that I received my first email from Maine Art. The positive vibes were all around me!”
This Icelandic adventure confirmed her love and need for the challenge of adventure and the outdoors.
“I need the mountains and the ocean just like I need to paint,” she claims. “It is this power and energy in nature that draws me to continually paint it. I go into my zone when I am painting. The hours pass by, and I am totally absorbed. It is the same connection as when I am surrounded by mountains or looking out to the water. I am at peace.”
Bethany Harper Williams joined Maine Art this past fall and is looking forward to her first full summer season with us. Not only can you view her work every day at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture on 14 Western Ave in Kennebunk. She will also be a part the 7th Annual Choice Art Show and a Three Artist Show beginning Labor Day Weekend. As always you can read more about Bethany by clicking Bethany Harper Williams – Stories and Insights and see her entire collection online by clicking Artist Page – Bethany Harper Williams – Artist Page.
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