Saturday, April 22, 2017

Zion National Park 2017 Painting Retreat - Day 0

Dawn in Zion Canyon - Angel's Landing

Trina and I are now on our way back to Campobello Island, New Brunswick, for our summer season.  But first, we have a few stops along the way.  Right now, we are in Springdale, Utah, for a painting retreat.

It's been three years since our last retreat in Springdale, the "gateway" to Zion National Park.  Zion is one of my favorite places to paint.  Every bend in the road offers enough material for a full day of painting.  And, thanks to the combined efforts of the Park's shuttles and Springdale's, it's one of the most accessible parks.  This year, we've rented the same house we always rent, which is just a short walk to a shuttle stop.  With only a backpack and a Park pass, we can get to all the best spots.

In previous years, we've had as many as ten on this retreat; this year, for a number of reasons, we have only five, including Trina and me.  It'll be a small group, but that only means more intimate gatherings and the possibility of reaching more out-of-the-way spots.

The retreats are intense.  Everyone stays under the same roof, which helps with communications and builds a certain camaraderie.  We have early breakfasts, followed by a show-and-tell of the previous day's work.  Right after making bag lunches, we hit the Park.  Quite often, we take a break after lunch at a scenic spot, but the concept of bag lunches gives us the flexibility to travel to another location for afternoon painting if we wish.  Sometimes, we head back to the house for lunch and a rest.  Afternoons, some folks paint, others sightsee.  Evening meals are communal or "dining out," followed by art talk and planning for the next day's outing.  By the end of the week, the body is tired but the spirit is refreshed, and everyone goes home with a clutch of paintings to remind them of their time here.

I doubt I'll post every day, but I do hope to share a few moments, photos and paintings with everyone this week.  Stay tuned!

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