Superstition Mountains, Phoenix Arizona area
11 x 14 inch oil painting
This past February I had the opportunity to paint in Arizona for a week, and I couldn’t resist the allure of the Superstitions. I had painted them once before, from a client-provided photograph, but seeing them in person was a different story. The dust in the air turned them even redder than they were naturally. Overall, a super-natural treat!
I have a new website page dedicated to just my paintings of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah – wherever you find beautiful canyons and red rock scenes.
You’ll find paintings of the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Monument Valley – and paintings of Arches National Park, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon and Canyon de Chelly to come.
Look for it here: Red Rock Paintings of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico
Trail to Bear Mountain
Sedona Plein Air Oil painting
9 x 12 oil on linen plein air panel
(Along Boynton Road, Sedona Arizona)
I painted this in February, just a few weeks ago, so the grasses are winter-white. The day I was there the Sedona Marathon was going on, and I believe this was part of the route. I painted late in the day after all the marathoners were finished. There is a trailhead in the meadow in front of me, which goes to Bear Mountain. I’d like to try that hike some time. I’ll bet it’s beautiful.
Below, painting by the roadside, while the sun played peek a boo all afternoon. It looks like I was standing in the middle of the road, but I was actually safely off to one side.
View From El Tovar
Grand Canyon plein air oil painting
9 x 12 oil on plein air panel
Another of my plein air paintings from Grand Canyon, South Rim. This one was painted near the El Tovar Hotel, the majestic old inn on the edge of the canyon. The time of day is near sunset. Below, some photos of the work in progress
Grand Canyon Afternoon
Plein Air Oil Painting near Hopi Point, South Rim
9 x 12 oil painting
See more Grand Canyon paintings here
The great thing about painting at Grand Canyon is that there’s a scene practically everywhere you look. The sculptural forms of the plateaus and cliffs constantly change color as the sun moves – which adds to its beauty and provides entertainment and frustration for the artist. Our first days at the canyon we looked for locations to paint, then returned on the third day to some favorite spots. My location for this painting was somewhere between Hopi Point and Powell Point on the south rim, rim trail.
The photo below shows a good example of the difference in color temperature between seeing a painting outdoors and indoors. The photo above was taken under indoor light (as it will be seen in a home or office.) Below, the painting as it appeared under natural (blue) daylight in shadow. As a rule I try to always photograph a painting as it will appear under normal home or office conditions.
Maricopa Point View
Grand Canyon Maricopa Point south rim plein air oil painting
8 x 10 inches
Oil on linen plein air panel
See more Grand Canyon paintings here
Just a few days ago we returned from a holiday trip to the Grand Canyon, one of the great natural wonders of the world. I had never seen it covered in winter snow, and I had planned ahead with all my plein air gear. It was near freezing that morning on the South Rim, which kept the snow crisp and fresh. Later in the day a cold wind moved in and I had to layer up even more. It’s surprising how cold you get when you aren’t hiking or moving around.
I set up my easel near Maricopa Point, on the South Rim, along the Rim Trail. In the distance you can see a bit of Wotan’s Throne, an enormous mesa that is adjacent to the north rim at Cape Royal. My husband shot some video of me working on this painting, which I’ll post when we get it edited.
Because I’m almost as passionate about nature and learning as I am about painting, I found it fascinating to know that the top layers of the Grand Canyon (from the Jurassic period) have already been eroded away, so the only fossils embedded in the rocks are from the pre-dinosaur era. One finds trilobites, ferns, dragonflies, etc. but no T-rex bones.
“Sculpted by Time”
Yavapai Point, Grand Canyon
9 x 12
oil painting on linen panel
Available from Hueys Fine Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Feb. 11 – March 2011
I was happy to be learn that this painting, Sculpted by Time, will be included in the 2011 Canyonlands Show at Hueys Fine Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico. The show celebrates the beauty of the Grand Canyon and Canyon de Chelly.
I’m looking forward to visiting the canyon again sometime this winter season – perhaps combining it with a trip through northern Arizona and/or Utah. I love California but there’s a whole lot of west to explore and paint, with new vistas and new painting challenges.
One of the many things I love about the Grand Canyon is the way it naturally provides complementary colors to work with – from the red rock chiseled cliffs to the blue of the sky and distant mountains.