Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Grand Canyon Plein Air on the Rim - Day 6

It's hard to believe, but we are almost at the final round.  Paintings are to be turned in tomorrow afternoon at 4.  That leaves just tomorrow to paint a couple more, make any adjustments and then frame our best pieces.  Where did the time go?

Of course,  once the work is turned in, we won't rest.  There's a Quick Draw Friday morning followed by an auction of the Quick Draw pieces, and then the Buyer's Preview that night.  Saturday, the exhibition will officially open to the public at the Kolb Studio.  (You can find all these details on the web site.)  In addition to my large studio piece, I expect to have ten plein air pieces.

But back to today.  After a night of heavy rain, I woke to fog.  Having had cold cereal every day for the last week, I decided to go out to the Maswick Lodge for a hot breakfast.  Following that, I walked my coffee over to the rim to get an update on the weather.   Was that actually sun I was seeing?  Sure enough, a little yellow glow was filtering through the fog.  I decided to head back over to Yaki Point to finish a rain/fog painting I did yesterday - I needed to refer again to my subject - and to paint some 5x7s.

I ran into several painters who were already there wrestling with the fickle weather.  Dan Schultz, Jake Gaedkte and Dave Santillanes were soon followed by Glenn Renell and Gregory Hull.  I chatted with Dave for a moment, because I was curious about his experience down at Phantom Ranch.  He and Cody Delong had hiked down to paint and hiked back out Monday.  He said they actually started their hike back at 1 a.m., traveling by moonlight, to avoid the sun.

Dan Schultz

Jake Gaedtke

David Santillanes
I did two pieces,  9x12 and a 5x7 plus the adjustments on the 9x12 from the day before.    You'll note that two of the pieces are of the same feature, but with much different lighting.  This is what makes plein air painting in a complicated place like the Canyon challenging but also exciting.

9x12 from day before (rain/fog day!)

5x7 from today - same tower, different light!

9x12 oil - "Wotan Speaks"

Around 11, I was ready to pack it up.  The fog was evolving into clusters of thunderheads over both rims.  But of course, that made for more good painting!  I headed out to the area around Verkamp's, met up with Bill Cramer, and painted two more 5x7s.   The clouds and shadows were challenging, and I had to work fast on the little impression of Isis Temple.  In the second piece, I'm looking off the rim and down toward Indian Gardens.  I had some good, steady light for this one.

Isis Revealed 5x7 oil

Indian Gardens View 5x7 oil

Next was a demo by Joshua Been, followed by an artist's reception at Verkamp's, which is where the  Grand Canyon National Park South Rim artist-in-residence stays.  It's a nice apartment with a view unlike any other.  I closed up the day by having dinner with my hosts down in Tusayan.

Joshua Been Demo

Tomorrow, the artists will all be painting on the South Rim between Mather Point and Trailview Overlook so interested visitors can find us.    We'll be there from dawn until 10 a.m.


Sandra Nunes said...

Following you, Michael! Wonderful place, great paintings!

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Thank you, Sandra!