Saturday, February 22, 2014

Greetings from the Grand Canyon!

Grand Canyon
Oil on canvas, 10x10

All my life, I've known about the Grand Canyon. Read about it, seen photos and movies, flown over it. None of that comes close even to hinting at what it looks like in real life.

I stood at the edge of the Grand Canyon on the evening when I arrived, and I stared, wordless and stunned, gaping and mesmerized. It is so much more astonishing than I'd ever imagined. And if you haven't been, GO! Really. It is something that we should all see - especially if you are American. 

At the South Rim, where I made this painting, the Canyon is a mile deep. The oldest rocks are 2,000 million years old, according to the National Parks Service. Along the course of the Colorado River, the canyon is 277 miles long. 

The numbers are amazing, but they don't begin to make sense until you stand at the edge of the canyon, and look down and down and down, and out and out and out. It's hard to even see the bottom at many vantage points.

But it is more than mere size. It's the amazing colors and formations. You see red rocks, scarlet and vermilion and crimson, pink and orange and umber, yellow and tan and ochre and white, and in the shadows, all shades of purple and blue. The lines of color are amazing, and the ridges, worn by wind and water, are just mesmerizing. 

And it is more than the colors and the rocks, too. It takes you out of the every day, or at least, that's what it did to me. It made me contemplate history, time, the forces of nature that made this place, the power of the earth that thrust the mountains up and then carved the valleys. It made me think about the Native Americans living in the canyon thousands of years ago, and then the first white explorers who stumbled onto it and must have thought there was no way around it. 

I wouldn't send you to a place that wasn't worth it! So go! 


And when you are out here, go past the Grand Canyon and on to Monument Valley. For me as an artist, Monument Valley and the surrounding areas, including the drive from the Grand Canyon, are even more entrancing, even more inviting. 

I love the red earth out here, the huge rocks, the broad open sky. This land makes me feel my size, makes me feel that I am just a speck on this vast landscape - and I like that. I like being a tiny piece of this huge life. And I loved seeing, driving through and painting the red earth, the muscled mountains, the brilliant sky. 

I drove to Monument Valley in a huge dust storm. It was so thick that when I drove back through, it was like seeing a whole new landscape. 

Dawns and dusks were amazing in Monument Valley.

Here are more photos of the land in and around Monument Valley


In Tubac, I had the great good fortune to have my work accepted by Art Gallery H, right in the heart of town. The gallery is lovely, and Karl and Audrey Hoffman, who run it, are very enthusiastic about my work.


 Spring really IS coming! I know that for those of you in New England and the Midwest, it seems impossible, but it's on the way.

Dog of the Day

This is one of the working dogs you'll see at the checkpoint on the highway just outside of Tubac. They stop every car, glance inside, ask if you have anyone with you, and then either detain you or let you pass. I imagine they're looking for people trying to get into the country illegally? I am not sure that the stop itself is legal. And I sure wouldn't mess with this dog! 

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