Friday, September 19, 2014

Grand Canyon Celebration of Art - Day 6

Rim Tree Near Pima Point 9x12 oil

Below the Tower of Seti 16x12 oil
Most people, when they come to Grand Canyon, don't do much more than peer over the rim, take a few photos and leave. For them, it is purely a visual experience. I, too, enjoy the Canyon with my eyes. After all, I'm a visual artist. However, as a plein air painter, I spend hours immersed in the landscape quietly. When I do so, the other senses begin to take notice:

  • The whoosh of a raven overhead just before it plummets deep into the Canyon
  • The vanilla scent of ponderosa pine on a damp morning
  • The descending musical scale of a canyon wren
  • The hard limestone beneath my shoes, sometimes cushioned by pine needles
  • The burning heat of the September sun at 7000 feet
  • The sudden but welcome chill when I move into the shade
  • The prickliness of a juniper's needles as I brush against them

If I stop painting for a moment to pay attention to all this, I am overwhelmed. I have to start painting again to get back on track.

When morning came, we had just two free painting days left, Thursday and Friday, with final delivery of work due Friday afternoon.  Thursday, we were free to paint anywhere; Friday, we will be required to paint along the Rim between Mather Point and Trailview Overlook in the morning. It's hard to believe we're nearly done with the painting portion of the event.  (Next comes the Quick Draw and auction, followed by the Buyers' Preview, Buyers' Brunch and the public sale.)

To make the most of Thursday, I headed up to just east of Pima Point, where I met ML Coleman again. I painted a 12x16 plus a 9x12 (see above). Clouds moved in as I was finishing up, and I decided to head home for lunch.

I had lots to do. I needed to frame up as much work as possible for delivery, which also meant taking photographs, filling out forms and recording the paintings for my own records. I drove over to the Community Hall with my carload of paintings and frames and got to work in the room that the GCA had set aside for us to use. When I laid out all the paintings, it was a tough choice!

I made my selections, which you can see below. You'll note that I'm including some 5x7s. These sold well last time I was here; I like to have something for every budget! All of these paintings (along with the framed larger ones in my earlier posts) will be for sale at the Kolb Studio starting Saturday evening at the Buyers' Preview. Whatever doesn't sell that evening will be available to the general public on Sunday and then until late January (unless they sell, and I hope they do.)  If you're interested in any of these pieces, I urge you to contact the Kolb Studio right away or make sure you attend the Buyers' Preview.  I will have one more 9x12 to post after Friday morning, and then I will have another at the Quick Draw on Saturday.

(For details on all these scheduled events, please visit

Off Yaki Point 9x12 oil 
Rim Tree 9x12 oil

Building Clouds 9x12 oil
Dawn Over the River 5x7 oil

Sunset Over Kolb Studio 5x7 oil

Sundown 5x7 oil

That evening, I went to a reception for the artists at Park Superintendent David Uberuaga's residence.  The reception was scheduled to start after dark so those of us who wanted to paint the sunset could do so.  The Uberuagas were wonderful hosts, and it was a great chance to talk to the other artists.  The only other chance, other than the orientation last week, will be at the sales events, which aren't a good time to be swapping stories about the pitfalls and pleasures of plein air.

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