Sunday, November 6, 2011

Zion National Park Plein Air Event - Day 6

We had rain in the night!  Which meant beautiful clouds and peek-a-boo sunshine in the morning.  After dropping off my replacement paintings, I went off to Court of the Patriarchs.  Not to paint, but to hike.  I had my eye all week on a trail that seemed to lead into the furthermost reaches of the Court's canyon.  Snow pellets were spitting down as I hiked in.  I ran across two herds of turkey, none of which seemed to mind that I was a bipedal predator on the prowl.  The trail was easy-going most of the way, but got much steeper as I approached the back wall.  The views from the trail were just amazing.  The clouds were, in my mind, too fickle for painting, but perfect for photography.

Here's a Thomas Moran moment

Speaking of photography, the shutterbugs were legion.  A combination of romantic, beclouded vistas and it being the weekend brought them out in droves.  Not to belittle photographers, but why do they group together like this to take the same shot?  Painters seem to be a little more independent.   I'll give them the benefit of a doubt and assume it was a photography workshop.

Afterward, I headed back to the Nature Center to hang out.  I met some really nice people, but I also got to participate in an impromptu paint-around.  Las Vegas painter Kathleen Strukoff decided to fill her time by setting up an easel at the window and painting.  When she took a break, I suggested we turn it into a paint-around, and so I got to do the next stint.  Several other artists pitched in, too.  The photo below shows Kathleen painting; the bat, which must be either a vampire bat or maybe a blowup of a Mexican freetail, is actually a decal on the window.  (It is a nature center, after all!)  It didn't make it into the painting.  By the way, we gave the painting to the event's organizer, Anne Weiler-Brown, as a parting gift.

By mid-afternoon, I was getting pretty beat, so I left the park to top off my gas tank for the trip home and to check out a few galleries in Springdale.  Then I continued my pre-packing.  After a stop at the Nature Center to see how things were going, I took a sunset walk along the Pa'rus trail.  I was feeling a little wistful, as this is probably my last visit to Zion until after the snowy season ends.    And it does seem to be upon us!  They're predicting some light snow - maybe an inch - along my route home.

That evening, we had the final lecture of the event.  It was on collecting art.  The speaker, Kevin Barry, is a gallery owner from Los Angeles who works mostly with corporate clients.  His primary advice is sound - buy what you like.

This morning I'm off to the Nature Center again.  The show's last run is from 9 until noon.  After that, I'll head home, hoping to get out of the mountains before this little storm gets to percolating.


Susan Roux said...

Amazing photos. Good luck with the exhibition.

adventureartist said...

Beautiful! Wishing you a safe journey home.

Cindy Michaud said...

I am absolutely drooling with envy while reading this...oh to be on the trail and painting the views. Thanks for sharing.

Joanne Hanson said...

I hope it went well for you Michael! You certainly have a way with red rocks. I especially like your Court of the Patriarchs painting with the large monument. It is an awesome painting!

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Thanks, everyone!