Down here in Kayenta at 3400 feet, there's no snow to speak of. In fact, they get rain if anything. But go 36 miles out of town up to Pine Valley (6600 feet), which is where we drove yesterday to explore, and you'll find snow. I thought I was done with it, now that it is April!
Drifts of snow two feet deep hugged the banks of the Santa Clara River, which winds out of the hills and down into town. Elsewhere, the ground is bare. I worked my way to the water and out of the wind to do a quick 5x7 study. I worked about 30 minutes on it. I could have painted longer, but I'd wasted some time taking photos and I knew that Trina, who had gone off on a walk with Saba, would be back soon. Both of us had had a light mid-morning meal and were getting a little hungry. I don't like to paint when I'm hungry, but I had the opportunity, so I took it. When Trina came back, I was just getting set up. Then I hurried, because both of us knew the Branding Iron Steakhouse was waiting for us.
Because I had little time, I kept this piece very abstract. I was aiming to capture a sense of light and shadow, rich color and dull, rather than to get the shapes precise. Once back at home, I spent about 5 minutes cleaning up the edge of snow over the water and deepening the shadow right beneath it.
At the top is the painting; below is a photo I took of the scene.