Thursday, April 1, 2010

Utah: Snow Canyon

We managed to get from Sedona to Ivins, Utah, in advance of a predicted storm. While the wind whipped across southern Utah and the top of Arizona, we toured through some beautiful country: Glen Canyon and nearby Page, Kanab and the edge of Escalante National Monument, and finally right through the center of Zion National Park. The wet weather held off, but not long after we checked into our guest cottage, the rain rushed in on a gale. So, we hunkered down for the evening and studied our maps and guidebooks. (I say "we" because Trina helps immensely with this initial research.)

This part of Utah is new to us, and since I'm teaching a plein air workshop here in a little over a week, we've got research to do! Well, we've found many choices for painting spots. But how good are they? I'll have ten students, and that requires restrooms and plenty of parking. Also, I need to get a handle on "time of day" issues - how the shadows will work, and this requires me to do some advance painting. Morning dawned clear and cold, promising a good day to check out the closest and most obvious choice: Snow Canyon State Park. It's a rich location. One could easily bite off more geology than one can paint, so I decided to do just one morsel, an outcrop of Kayenta sandstone.

By the way, I am painting this week with some new alkyds. For the workshop, I'll switch back to traditional oils.

"Snow Canyon Sketch I" 5x7, oil

9 comments:

nancy elstad said...

Can't beat Snow canyon! Painted there last year. LOve that whole area, where will your class be held?

Bill Cramer said...

Nice oil, Michael. Sedona-like red rocks in Snow Canyon, good rock climbing, too. Have fun!

Gary Keimig said...

know the country well you are going into. Some really great painting locations. It will be a treat for your workshop painters.

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Thanks, everyone! Nancy, the workshop is at Blue Raven Studio in Coyote Gulch in Kayenta. Thanks, Bill, but I'll leave the climbing to you! Gary, would be interested in your location suggestions, if you want to e-mail me.

Marie Theron said...

I am still enjoying your very accomplished work, Michael! It sounds like a wonderful trip too!Regards from Cape Town!

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Thanks, Marie from Cape Town!

Anonymous said...

You do such fantastic work! I went to college in St. George years back and went to study ART, but ended up in the canyons and trails having fun. It was my first time away from home! Now I SOOO wish I had concentrated on painting. My memories are cherished and seeing your art makes me so homesick. I was born in Kanab, so I call southern Ut home because I guess thats where my heart is. There wasn't any galleries there though at the time. Only the "Electric Horseman" and "Harry's War" being filmed. We hiked all these places you are now painting. Keep up the great work. It inspires me to return. Thank you for using Edgar Payne as reference, another PA artist, Tom Lockhart uses him as ref. too.

Anonymous said...

I'm all signed up for your workshop in Ivins next week.
Snow Canyon looks like a fabulous point to work from.

Look forward to meeting you and seeing Southern Utah, again.

I'll spend the previous week-end at Toroweap sketching the magnificent canyon vistas. David Brand

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Thanks, David. Looking forward to working with you!

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