Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Grand Canyon Celebration of Art - Day 4

Another early morning arrived, this time with the coyotes in the brass section outdoing the elk over in the woodwinds. After a quick breakfast at Maswik Lodge, I drove west to hook up with ML Coleman just past Hopi Point. This was a great spot, and I managed to paint two 9x12s without changing locations. I long ago learned my lesson of trying to paint everywhere; you just end up with a bunch of "snapshot" paintings of the Canyon. You're better off picking a couple of spots for the week and doing all your work there. You end up with more in-depth knowledge of a particular location.

View of Buddha,  9x12 oil

The Alligator 9x12 oil

In between paintings, I enjoyed a cup of coffee in the cool shade of ML's LazyDays motor home. About that time Bill Cramer arrived, followed soon by Carl Ortman. They headed down the trail, just below where I was painting. But before they left, Bill discovered that the window of the LazyDays makes a remarkable mirror. It allowed me to take a couple of "selfies" with the Canyon in the background. (Bill didn't make it into the photo.) Curiously, the view is a broader one than the one my camera takes alone; the window seems to violate some law of optics. The Canyon is indeed a magical place.

Me, ML Coleman, Carl Ortman (L to R)

Today (Tuesday), we were asked to start bringing in framed pieces. I went over to the Community Hall in the Village, where we had a room reserved for framing and other tasks we might not be able to do in our host's home. I framed up my two larger pieces and then trucked them over to the Kolb Studio. I'll be trying to do this each day now, with the final day of delivery set for Friday. Here are my first two pieces:

Mohave Point, Morning 18x14 oil

West of Hopi, 14x18 oil

By the way, I don't want to give you the impression that a plein air festival is all fun and games.  There is a great deal of housekeeping one needs to do.  In addition to framing, you need to record inventory, photograph pieces, deal with the logistics of painting delivery - basically, all the stuff you would do in your home studio, but you're doing it out of the back of your car!

After a short break, I headed over to the El Tovar resort for my 4 pm demonstration. We've had great weather all week - sun with scattered clouds - but today the weather began to turn. A huge storm was building up to the south. I set up by the stone wall that edges the rim, hoping that the cloud wouldn't block the sun. I wanted some good light on Maricopa Point, which you can see from that spot.

I'm not sure how many people attended the demonstration, but I sensed there were maybe a half-dozen genuinely interested listeners. Others were genuinely uninterested tourists oohing and ahhing at the view in twenty different languages. I had some great questions and the demo went really well; in fact, I think it is one of the best one-hour paintings I've ever done. At the end, the painting was auctioned off to a very happy lady from California. (She got a really good deal on it). I did fail to get a photo of the painting, but photos were taken, and I am promised one soon, which I will post.

Then the storm really began to bloom, killing the good light. There was no point in painting more, so I drove out to get a few photos of clouds before heading to the Market Plaza to eat. I ran into Cody DeLong, a longtime friend from Sedona, and we had a nice talk. We decided to meet at Yaki Point in the morning to paint.

The storm didn't do much after all. I heard it rain briefly in the night. I wonder what kind of clouds we'll have in the morning? Every day is different at the Canyon.

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