Sunday, January 18, 2009

Retreat from the Canyon


"Midgley Bridge View"
8x10, oil


On the last day of this week's workshop, we drove north up Oak Creek Canyon to Slide Rock State Park. Since we'd had warm days and it was late in the morning, we thought we'd have a balmy day despite the elevation gain. Our house is at 4550 feet, and Slide Rock is at 4930 feet; for comparison, Flagstaff, which has three feet of snow on the ground, is perched at 6910 feet.

Well, we didn't find snow at Slide Rock, but the wind came up without warning. It was like a freight train of cold vapor running down the rails from Flagstaff. I found a single point in full sun that was protected from the wind, but the view wasn't good. So, we retreated down the canyon.

We struck gold at Midgley Bridge. The bridge spans Wilson Canyon, which joins Oak Creek Canyon at right angles. Because this canyon runs in a different direction, it didn't channel the wind the way Oak Creek Canyon did. In fact, we found a dead calm, along with stunning views all the way along the trail.

You'll notice in my painting that the bridge angles up toward the right - the end that actually takes you down to Sedona. In my mind, that end should have gone down, too, but I measured it several times. It's an illusion of perspective.

By the way, I've created special page on my website that features all of my Sedona paintings that are for sale. I've broken them down into Plein Air Sketches and Demonstrations, and Finished Works. You can see the paintings here: http://www.michaelchesleyjohnson.com/html/sedona.htm. If you are interested in any of them, please contact me.

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