We just spent 4 glorious days in Yosemite. Even though I am a huge fan of red rock country this is by far my most favorite park. It is full of all the big attrations that would expect from a park this size but also brimming with hidden treasures. This first day I spent a quiet afternoon at the lower Yosemite falls trail head. I sent up and settled in for a great session. Even amidst the tourists galore I found a certain peace there and was easily able to loose myself in the time.
I just love Utah….really that is an understatement. The land, the people and the sun – I just can’t get enough. I could be here for a lifetime and never be short on inspiration. We stayed in Zion National Park for 3 nights and hated to leave. It was quite warm but we were never far from river access or a shaded rock to find reprieve.
My time at the Park was focused on finding the best painting spots possible. I started with the classic Zion landscape of jutting canyon walls and bright blue sky. I set up alongside the road into the canyon and painted in full sun. By the end of my session I was hot and thirsty but feeling very accomplished.
I next chose to plant myself at the Emerald Pools trailhead. Very noisy spot as all foot traffic went accross a nearby metal bridge! Well worth the noise-as my chosen location provided the perfect view of all Zion has to offer, sweeping red sandstone, cool crisp river water and lush greens.
I think my most favorite spot was along the riverwalk trail where I was able to sit in a quiet area along the river and watch the changing colors as the lept past me. I was fascinated by the water and the reflection of the blazing rocks. I will never forget it!
Here you get to see Adam showing off my last painting of the Zion experience. I found a lovely spot where the river trickled though the landscape. The water was so graceful and full of movement and light. I just had to try to capture it.
Next we were on to Bryce Canyon. I have been here once before but did not get the chance to spend much time. We drove to the end of the scenic drive where I then backtracked and painted Natural Bridge while the others hiked a short trail.
This time my painting experience was not quite so peaceful. Many onlookers with cameras and comments added some flavor to the hour I spent at the lookout. Even so I enjoyed the wild breeze and warm sun while admittedly perching myself illegally off the designated trail.
On Monday we visited Monument Valley in Utah. This land is now owned by the Navaho Nation and they offer tours throughout this stunning landscape. Many films and commercials have been fimed here and you can see why.
I took little over an hour on the side of the path to paint just a portion of this enchanting landscape. The air was soft and cool under the powerful sun. All was quiet and I was just able to soak it all in.
We spent Friday and Saturday in Santa Fe. I was so looking forward to being back in Santa Fe. It is such a lovely area full of color, life and sprit. I feel at home here. We finally visited The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. It was small and quaint and housed some of her most beloved work.
O’Keeffe has long been my inspiration both in my wild approach to color and my emotianal connection with the southwestern landscape. My favorite painting on display at the Museum was Rams Head with Blue Morning Glory. For me it spoke of all things O’Keeffe – her spirited soul and expression of color.
We also visited The Catherdral of Saint Francis of Assisi – Lovely Southwest Adobe exterior with a very tradional Catholic interior. I so wanted to paint but it was actually hailing for a good part of the day! Can you believe hail in Santa Fe!!!