Monday, February 20, 2012

Painting by Jeep

My friend, Tony Donovan, is here in Sedona now with his Rubicon.  The advantage of having a painting buddy with a Jeep is that we get to go places your father's Oldsmobile - or your average low-slung rental car - can't.  Many of the forest roads in Red Rock Country require high-clearance, heavy-duty tires and chutzpah.  Jeeps have all that, and lots of chutzpah.

Sometimes students get a treat and get to go, too.  Last week, we headed down Vultee Arch Road, which snakes around the backside of Thunder Mountain into some very pretty country.  The road is more washed out than it was last year, and the catclaw and mesquite seem to stick out more; the Rubicon now sports some brand-new "Arizona pinstripes."  We drove to a little platform near the historic Van Deren cabin and painted the view overlooking a very dry Dry Creek.

It was a good week over all.  We had snow at the higher elevations the first day and cool, overcast after that, but the last two days were just spectacular and Sedona at its best.  I've put a few photos up for your vicarious pleasure.  I should also mention we have a few spots left in this season's Paint Sedona workshops.

Somewhere behind Thunder Mountain (sketch), 9x12, oil

Schnebly Hill area (sketch), 9x12, oil

Munds Mountain "fin", showing bounced light (sketch) 12x9, oil


Trina Stephenson said...

I am zealous I don't get to go on these adventures.

Peggy said...

For curiosity sake, how long did you spend on each oil 'sketch'? I love that kiss of sunlight on Munds Mountain 'fin'. Beautiful work. You are on my short list of MUST TAKE workshops.

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Sorry, Trina! You will have to take a holiday. Peggy - Maybe an hour or so on each. When I'm teaching the advanced/mentoring workshops, I start a demo, send students free to paint, and then work on the demo some more between visits with students. So, it's hard to say exactly!

Helen Opie said...

Knowing that the Sedona area has amazing vibes and vortices of energy, I am wondering how or if these might affect your painting. Do you notice any difference in your own energy when there? In the energies of your paintings? Perhaps this is too arcane a topic here, but I had such a strong response to that area which, once I heard of its energy reputation, I attributed to those intensified earth-energies.

And is Trina really zealous - or is she jealous?

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

That's a good question, Helen, and difficult to answer. I know that I am simply in awe of the colors and landscape in most spots here. I've painted at some of the vortex spots, and they are all special.