Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Painting with Friends

"Fay Canyon Secrets"
9x12, oil -

On Monday, I thought I'd spend the afternoon working on another 16x20 piece. I'd gone so far as to get the French easel packed up along with the additional gear I need for working on a large canvas. I'll admit, this is not gear I'd want to take when I switch into my secret identity as Backpacker Painter! The easel is heavy and awkward. At best, I like to carry it from the car to the edge of the parking lot, and no farther.

But I received an invitation from a painter friend, Cody DeLong, who was going to be in town with one of his painting buddies, Dawn Sutherland. They swung by the house after lunch to discuss where we might paint. "How far are you expecting to go?" I asked these two athletic types. I was worried. "Are you going to paint from the car, or walk in?" Dawn smiled and said, "Oh, we might go a couple of miles."

When Cody and Dawn started tracing routes on the small-scale trail map that we've made a permanent fixture on half of our dining room table, I knew I was in trouble. (The table seats six, so you can imagine how big the map is.) I decided I'd better swap out the French easel. I changed into Backpacker Painter mode, grabbed a 9x12 panel and my Guerrilla Painter box, and out we went.

We hiked into Fay Canyon. There's a little arch up in the cliffs that you can see from the trail. If you clamber all the way up the scree, you'll discover it's actually a window. The window, unfortunately, is butted up against another cliff wall with just enough of a gap to let light spill down the backside of it, so it's not much to paint. However, turn around and you'll see a glorious canyon spread out before you. I stood not too far down from the window to paint this scene.

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