|Desert View Watch Tower|
After last night's gorgeous, jewel-studded sunset, I suspected that we were in for a change in the weather. Sure enough, today saw thunderheads building up over higher terrain. But after two days of painting in perfect weather - and full sun - I am grateful for the clouds! Not only do they add interest to the sky, they also cast beautiful shadows in the canyon.
|View from Desert View|
I headed out first thing to Desert View, 25 miles east of the village. I knew that the canyon beneath the historic watchtower would be in deep shadow for awhile. Deep shadow normally doesn't interest me, but in this case, I also knew that I'd see a silver ribbon of the Colorado River snaking through it, which would make for a nice point of interest. I arrived at Desert View so early that the snack shop wasn't open yet, and only a few tourists were wandering around. It wasn't long, though, before the busloads arrived. In the course of a couple of hours, I had conversations with people from France, Germany and Ireland. The fellow from Ireland and I talked about family names; I learned that "Chesley" is not an Irish name, but "McCulley" - my grandparents' surname - certainly is. My new friend said that although he is from Dublin, his family is originally from Moscow. I guess even the Irish had to come from somewhere.
|The River - 9x12, oil|
After closing up, I got some coffee at the Desert View snack shop and hiked around looking for other spots. Although the views were promising, I decided to head back. I painted a nice piece at Moran Point last year. Moran Point is stunning with the early morning light, but as I discovered, it's not so interesting at mid-morning. (I wonder if Thomas Moran, for whom it is named and who painted there, thought the same?) So I moved on to Grandview Point, which is good any time of day. Before Grand Canyon was established as a park and Grand Canyon Village was settled, Grandview was where the tourists went.
|Monsoon Weather - 9x12, oil|
Linda Glover Gooch and Glenn Rennell were there at Grandview, as well. After finishing up, I had a light lunch with Linda, sitting on a rock wall and watching the clouds. We talked shop, of course. Then I went home to plan the rest of the day. Coffee helped ratchet up the enthusiasm for a third painting. So, I drove up to Verkamp's in the village to paint, thinking that afterward I'd hop over to El Tovar to catch Paul Kratter's 4 pm demonstration. But as soon as I exited the car, the heavens opened. I scurried back to my car and sat for nearly an hour until I had exhausted all my reading material. When the next lightning bolt struck directly in front of me in the Canyon and striking a spot below the rim, I knew it was time to head home.
It ended up raining all evening. I enjoyed a nice, homecooked meal with my hosts. (Thank you again, Chris and Rick!) Maybe with all the rain we'll have some nice fog to paint in the Canyon come morning.