Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mini Pumpkin

Just in time for Halloween here is a cute little pumpkin. I picked this one because of the twisty stem and the unusual, (to me) light pink accents. If you would like to bid on this painting, please click here.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cinderella Pumpkin

I thought I better get this in before the pumpkin season is over. I love the shape of this pumpkin and the variegated colors too. I call this shape a Cinderella pumpkin, but I don't know why. Anyway, here's my entry for Halloween this year.
If you want to bid on this painting please click here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Majestic Afternoon in Canyon de Chelly

Here is the latest painting from our Canyon de Chelly trip. The wind started up so ferociously about an hour after I started, that this one had to be finished at home. It is the same area that the famous "White House" ruin is located. It's just behind me down a path relative to this view.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sunset Glow

Here are a couple more of the paintings I did while we were in Canyon de Chelly. A friend gently reminded me that I didn't really elaborate on how it was that we were able to go on this horseback riding trip in the first place. So, briefly, a fellow member of the painting group I belong to had connections with a Navajo family with whom she had previously arranged several trips. I asked her if she could plan another and that's how we came to be able to go. There are many tour groups one can arrange with to go into the canyon. Some do day trips by jeep, others allow you to stay overnight. The one requirement is that you must enter the canyon with a certified Navajo guide, and you can only stay in the canyon on land that a family owns, or on land the owner has given permission to use for camping.
Both of these paintings were painted within a few steps of our campsite. Our campsite is not in the river bed, but up on a bit of land, maybe 6 feet or more in elevation above the sandy river bottom. We were there in the driest part of the year. At other times a lot of water would be flowing through these scenes, and our guides told us, that some times of the year, the water table rises so high into the river bottom that it's unnavigable. Our campground is fenced to keep our horses in and the wild horses out. Even to step out from the campground property to paint in the river bed, a matter of only 25-50 yards, required us to be accompanied by a guide. These rules are strictly enforced by the national park service who oversees the running of this national park even though it is the property of the Navajo.
So, here are my two sunset views out of our front door, so to speak

Orange Glow 6 x 8 inches

Heading out of the Canyon, 8 x 10 inches

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Riding Out of the Shadows - Canyon de Chelly

Here is one of the larger pieces I started in Canyon de Chelly and finished up here at home. I painted this our first full day in the Canyon. We had scouted the place the previous day on our first afternoon in, after setting up our tents and having a bit of a rest after the 90 minute ride into the canyon. This place was about 20 minutes or so from camp and while a few of us painters stayed to paint, the rest of the group rode out to explore further, get some more riding in, and do some photography. After a couple of hours we broke for lunch. I wanted to try another one, but the wind came up and there was just too much blowing sand, although Brian, one of the other painters was a more stalwart soul than I, and I think he was able to finish a second!

I did do a small study our first evening, the one previous to this one here, and I'll post that one next. In the meantime, here is my first larger piece, which I have already been lucky enough to have sold, thanks to one of my patrons who is also a designer! I am so thrilled.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Left Mitten

After painting the previous early morning view, we drove a ways further along the dusty rutted road and I found this second view of the famous Left Mitten. The colors never ceased to amaze me; even close to noon the reds appeared too saturated to be real, as were the beautiful pinks and violets of the distant buttes. After this we went back to camp for lunch and a rest before heading out for the late afternoon painting, which was not a keeper unfortunately. Can't win them all.
If you would like to bid on this painting, please click here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Early Morning, Monument Valley

After our 2 days camping at the Mather Campgrounds in the Grand Canyon, we headed up to Utah to stay at the Gouldings campground at Monument Valley, (a trading post dating back to the 1920's) . I loved the Grand Canyon, with its vast vistas and incredible sense of flying above those impossible depths, but I never really lost the sense that I was still surrounded, (if only at my back), by all the trappings of civilization...cars, busses, crowds, noise, restaurants, all of it.

Driving into the Navajo Monument Valley though, you can sense, often if you go really early or stay until the last minute, (which is tricky...in theory you can get locked in, tho there is a lesser known exit), that you are in an untouched place. The silence is so profound, and there are other vast vistas, but they are almost entirely 360 degree vistas. Of course as the day wears on, more and more vehicles come bumping along the really terrible roads. My little KIA could barely make 10 mph,  because of the huge potholes or boulders or giant ruts in the dirt roads that circle the valley. But even that was a little refreshing, after the programmed touring at the Grand Canyon.

One highlight of our stay there, was the tradition at Gouldings to screen the movie, "Stagecoach", with John Wayne, Claire Trevor, and many more wonderful actors. The still-to-this day unbelievably exciting race across the plains, was filmed there with no special effects. Incredible, incredible riding and filming! If you've never seen it, it's worth it just for that segment alone.

Anyway, our first morning there we managed to enter the scenic loop right at 8 am, and I was able to do two little paintings before we left around noon when the heat and the haze made it less wonderful to be there.

So, here is the first one. If you would like to bid on this painting, please click here.