Sunday, September 4, 2011

Heading Off to the Grand Canyon Celebration of Art

"Overhang" 9x12, oil

Here's a painting I recently made in one of my Campobello Island plein air workshops.  I am posting it now because it may be the last maritime painting you see from me for awhile!

I am about to head off to the Grand Canyon.  As my loyal followers know, I am one of 30 painters invited to participate in "Plein Air on the Rim."  I'm very honored to be a part of this event, now in its third year.  I'll be meeting some old friends, plus making some new ones.

I'll be getting to Arizona a few days early to run some errands but, most of all, to acclimate.  I'll be coming from sea level but painting at 7000 feet!  Although I don't intend to do any serious hiking, I do want to be able to paint all day and to hike down into the canyon for a few unusual scenes.  Although I've painted at the Canyon before, this will be a bit different in that it is a competition with awards, and I want to do my best work.  Also, as one of the artists, I'll be getting special permission to go where the public isn't allowed, and I'm excited at the prospect of exploring some new spots.

The event starts on Friday, September 9, with orientation.  Then we'll be painting until Thursday, September 15, on which day we'll have a group paintout at Mather Point where the public can catch us all in action at once.  That evening, we'll take our best work to the Kolb Studio for the hanging.  On Friday the16th, we'll participate in the Quick Draw event at the Kolb Studio.  For those of you who aren't familiar with the concept of the Quick Draw, this is "painting under pressure."  We'll have only two hours to paint, frame and deliver our quick draw pieces - all the while with the public milling around.  Following the Quick Draw, there'll be an auction of these pieces at noon at El Tovar.  Later that afternoon comes the judging and, that evening, the Buyers' Preview Reception.  (You'll need a ticket for this.)  Finally, on Saturday the 17th, the exhibition opens to the general public with award announcements.  It sounds like a full schedule!

I'll do my best to post to my blog while I'm there.   In the meantime, for more information on the event, visit

Happy trails!


Tina Bohlman said...

From horizontal blue ocean to vertical Red rock walls...ahhh, the life of an artist; gotta love it! Travel safely Micheal - can't wait to see your "canyon creations"! ~Tina

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Thanks, Tina! I'm really looking forward to it.

Bill Cone said...

Have a great trip! I am envious of everyone going there. What a beautiful spot.

Tony Donovan said...

This sounds like a fantastic week. Enjoy the inspiring scenery and your fellow artists. Look forward to seeing some great results

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Thanks, Bill and Tony.

Kimberly Vanlandingham said...

I can't wait to see the paintings from this week!