Monday, September 30, 2013

Plein Air Painting in Zion

It seems that I have a little theme going of having a great time on my painting trips, despite ridiculous things happening. Well, to be accurate... it is less "things happening" and more "me causing." This time, it was going to Zion, UT, home of the most beautiful red rocks, and forgetting the color red. I don't even know how. Don't think about it too much.

I enjoyed a hearty chuckle about that one and was about to head out on our first painting hike with 7 kinds of brown and almost-reds, when I discovered I also left an important part of my easel at home. I was not quite as good-humored about that one, let me tell you!

So anyway, that's why in the pictures you'll see me painting out of a little cigar box, which I brought as an afterthought,

and painting laughably small canvases on a laughably big French Easel:

(Thank you for letting me borrow your easel, Melissa! I may whine a lot, but you saved my butt, big time!)

So after that fun little surprise, I proceeded to have 4 amazing days of non-stop hiking and painting with my dear friend, who is good at every single thing in the world and made much better paintings than me, even though she hasn't painted in 5 years or something.

It rained on us every day, which in some ways made the trip even better. It kept us cool and made all the colors deep and beautiful. It also helped us greatly in the body odor department, since there were no showers at the campsite.

Stinkiness aside, I was so happy on the last day when that blue sky came out and gave me some shadows to paint!

 "After the Storm" - 6"x6" - oil on linen

"Sun on Their Backs" - 5"x7" - oil on panel

Deer munching on sunflowers by the campsite.

Trying to paint in the car on a particularly rainy day. Still need some practice with this one! Need shorter brush handles or shorter arms.

One thing about the wilderness, is that it has bugs. This gigantic bug with gigantic antennae flew onto my easel and reminded me why I like living in the city. (Melissa, who is good at everything as previously mentioned, was not afraid of the bug.)

Big hat: check. I'm really turning into that dorkiest of plein air painters. And it feels good. Kind of.

I will try and post the rest of my Zion paintings once I get to the finishing touches. I leave you with a couple more pictures which I hope will inspire you to make the trip to this incredible national park! It is probably the most beautiful place I've ever been.

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