(Wednesday, Sept 14)
A crisp, clear start to the morning again. I didn't delay, but headed out around 6:30. I stopped for a moment to take a walk from the Shrine of Ages to the rim, where I'd have an unobstructed view of the sky. Things looked good, so I headed over to Yaki Point, where I wanted to resume work on the 9x12 knife painting from yesterday.
I decided first to find the spot I'd been in. I parked, hiked in...and couldn't find it! I did find a location that gave me a view of the formation I'd been painting, but it didn't look quite the same. I double-checked the photo I'd taken of the scene, and sure enough, I wasn't in the right spot. I ended up walking around about a half hour until I finally found it. I think a GPS would be handy for painters who need to return to an exact location. (And of course, I had a good one in the car, a Magellan Crossover which has topo maps in addition to road maps, but didn't think to use it in this way. Next time!)
Ron Rencher, On Location
I guess my spot was a good one, because Ron Rencher was already there, painting the same formation. I greeted Ron and told him what I was up to. But the light wasn't right yet, so I went off to do a 5x7 first. As I finished, the clouds began to build. Seeing that the rain would probably come earlier than I'd hoped, I went to where Ron was painting and resumed work on the 9x12. I did manage to get what I needed before the first clap of thunder.
The 9x12 I Worked on for Two Days
I messed around with another tiny painting, but the rain got serious again. That was it for me. I had things to do besides paint. My time here is nearly done, and I needed to review my paintings and start framing. (There's still another morning of painting, but doing this today would save me time later; besides, the rain was becoming torrential, and there was pea-sized hail!)
But first, I had a tour of the artist-in-residence quarters above Verkamp's. The Park has artists - not just visual artists, but also composers, writers and others - year-round. The quarters are spacious and give stupendous views of the Canyon. I'd love to do a residence some year. They also have quarters on the North Rim, and having never been to the quiet North Rim, I'd probably choose to do one there. The quarters are smaller, just a cottage, but it'd be a different place to paint.
After tweaking and framing in the safety of the porch - the rain came all afternoon - I rested a bit and then headed to the social gathering of the week. The Grand Canyon Association threw a dinner party for the artists, judges, sponsors and GCA staff. Park Superintendent David Uberuaga was also there. Dinner was great and even included a vegetarian enchilada. (Although my standards have loosened over the years, I try to eat vegetarian whenever possible.) I had nice conversations with Cody Delong, Gregory Hull, Jim Wodark, Michael Obermeyer, William Scott Jennings, David Santillanes, and others. Afterward, I actually found my way home in the dark.
Thursday, the artists are expected to paint on the Rim Trail from dawn until 10 a.m. between Mather Point and the Trailview Overlook. I've got a spot picked out - a place I began a painting the other day - at the 1730 million-year-mark. See you there!