Thursday, February 18, 2010

Grand Canyon plein air

South rim view of Grand Canyon, near Kolb Studio

The wind started to pick up and was cold!
Enough is not too bad.

I stood off the cleared path, on a bit of snow and still
had at least 50 people walk behind me to look.
Attractive nuisance. Sheesh.

For the last three years, since I've been painting en plein air, I have dreamed of painting at the rim of the Grand Canyon. Today, my dream came true!

Well, sort of. I pictured it a little warmer. And with fewer people milling around, climbing onto the snow behind me to get a look at the painting and then commenting (or not ... I'm not sure which is more distracting!).

Minor details. I get a thrill when I see the signs that I am nearing the National Park. The names conjure the beauty and mystery and danger of the place: Yavasupai observation station, Kaibab National Forest, Havasupai trail, Bright Angel Lodge, Hopi House, and the El Tovar Hotel. As I was unpacking my gear, the train from Williams, Arizona blew its whistle to signal "All aboard!"

And now, I have joined ranks with other artists who have sat at the same rim, and looked down in wonder at the splendor of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River. And tried to capture its beauty in even a small way.

Life is good!

Today sun. Tomorrow, a chance of snow. I still hope to paint!


loriann said...

Way to go Katherine! Wind- no problem, people-problem...especially chatty one. Enjoy your plein air trip!

Celeste Bergin said...

I can see that you have a great painting on your easel. It must have felt like you were as much of an attraction as the Grand Canyon itself! Wow--what a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing such a special event. It looks ammmaaazzzing there!

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Loriann -- I agree! And the National Parks are filled with people ... which is good. Not so great for plein air painters, though.

Celeste! You're right, it was an amazing experience in an amazing place. I picked up a great book on art of the Grand Canyon, 150 years. I'll share when I'm back home!

Carrie H. said...

Your comment about the distraction of canyon/art viewers and commentators reminded me of an old article/interview with Andrew Wyeth. He used to climb into an old refrigerator box to paint because he knew everyone on the island and he couldn't get any painting done (in the field)otherwise.