Saturday, October 13, 2018

Stormy Morning, Capital Reef

Stormy Morning, Capital Reef / oil on canvas, 20x24 / road price $400

Another painter, hearing I was heading to Utah, tipped me to Capital Reef National Park.  I'd never even heard the name of the park, let alone seen photos or known the slightest thing about it. I am so thankful to that painter - Cynthia Rosen, whose work is amazing. 

Capital Reef is about 240,000 acres. It's 60 miles long and about 6 wide. Franklin Roosevelt dedicated it as a national monument in 1937, and it opened to the public in 1950. It was made a national park in 1971. According to Wikipedia, a president may name any land owned by the federal government a national monument; generally, the land will contain objects of historical, cultural and/or scientific interest. National parks are created by Congress, and the focus there is more on scenic and inspirational beauty.

In my painting trips, I generally stay away from preserved lands, but out here in Utah, I've gone in. Mostly, I've been delighted, though I find I rail against the proscribed views that prevail, particularly in Bryce and the southern half of Zion. A thing I like very much about Capital Reef is that I could pull off and set up and paint pretty much anywhere. 

Also, the land's beauty is not contained in the park. Some of my favorite paintings this trip, like all the ones in this posting, I made just outside the parks. 

All of my paintings from this trip are for sale, and at a discount while I'm on the road. To see them all, please visit the Utah Painting Trip page of the Jacobson Arts website (  If you want to buy one, please email me at, or txt me at 860-442-0246. Cell service where I am is pretty much nonexistent; I'll get back to you as soon as I can! 

Morning in Teasdale, 10x10, road price $110


PEOPLE OFTEN COME up to me while I'm painting, and this trip has been no different. 

Outside Bryce, while I was painting on a canvas, with oils, a woman came up and asked if I was sketching. 

Outside Capital Reef, a couple Asian women came up and asked if they could look at my painting. "It looks very good from across the road," one of them said, standing about 2 feet away from the finished canvas. "Are you going to fix it all when you get home?" the other asked. Sigh. 

The two men above are a father- and son-in-law from Antwerp, Belgium. They rented an RV and are traveling the western parks for three weeks. They - like me - were astounded at the mind-blowing beauty of the parks. And they reminded me that there's nowhere else on Earth like the western United States. 

And that is my biggest takeaway from this trip. I urge you - go see these places! Yes, it is worth it. You will see mountains and valleys, heights and depths, soil and rocks and formations and animals, colors and places and scenery that you could never imagine. 


Dogs of the Day

I saw these cowboys and, I believe, five dogs, on the road at about 10,000 feet, between Boulder and Torrey. They were bringing cattle down from their summer grazing areas to the winter ones, and there were loose cows all over the road, the entire way. The dogs were working hard, and I bet the cowboys were, too. 

A Final Thought

"Good art is not what it looks like, but what it does to us."

- Roy Adzak

No comments: