"A Grand Calm" 16x20, oil
Above is the studo painting of the Grand Canyon I've been working on. This is the finished version. Below is a detail:
In prepartion for the four-day Grand Canyon plein air painting workshop I'm offering in April, Trina and I went up to the Canyon yesterday to take some photos and hike. We couldn't have asked for a better day - low 50s, full sunshine, absolutely no wind, and some scraps of snow for some nice photos. After a 2.5 hour ride from our house, our first stop was Mather Point to stretch our legs. From there, we had brunch at the historic El Tovar lodge. I ordered the polenta corncakes with prickly pear syrup and Trina had a spinach omelette. The entrees were alarmingly big; each of my corncakes was the size of a dinner plate. After that, we badly needed to hike again, so we went out to the Kolb Studio, where the painting above will hang with my plein air work at the Grand Canyon Celebration of the Arts festival in September.
We drove on to Hermit's Rest, stopping along the way to hike the Rim Trail. Hermit Road doesn't close to vehicles until March 1st, when the only option to get out there is by shuttle. It's nice to take your own car, but it does make for busier traffic. For my workshop, we'll be taking the shuttle one day out to Hermit's Rest, which has some nice views. Later, we headed slowly back east, going on Desert View Drive to the Watchtower, the final stop in the park. I'd forgotten how pretty the views are from this part of the park, and I'm looking forward to painting there in April with my students.
Over all, I took nearly 200 photos. Below this post is one, in which I caught two photographers well off the trail shooting some of the late afternoon light. And finally, one of a brash, foolhardy hiker who is taking a siesta on a rock that I'm sure is off-limits to hikers. For the third photo, I've zoomed in on this guy. Did he make it back safely? I'll have to watch the evening news.
By the way, if my little trip has whetted your appetite for a Grand Canyon visit, I still have room in the Grand Canyon painting retreat. It is April 26-29, 2011 - let me know right away if you're interested.