Park lands in the western states are being threatened on a daily basis. The natural beauty and stark intensity of desert lands just aren’t important to some people in power. The land is seen as valuable only in terms of what it can give up for money: mining, uranium, rooftops.
Close to my home are the Tucson Mountains, and the Sweetwater Trail, which still has National Park status, but lots of new rooftops dotting the pristine hills. I had a free day and went to walk the washes and animal trails just off the main human trail. Found a spot to set up and do an oil sketch.
It was so peaceful, yes warm because it has been the warmest recorded temps for this time of year, regardless of what some might say. But no snakes! Just coyotes howling a little in the distance and some birds rustling about.
Remembering the magic in the waters of the Oak Creek, in Sedona.
Painting the tickling, babbling brook-like canyon.
Little 8 x 10″ oil on wood study:
The mysterious red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. Inspiring in all weathers.
A recent excursion led us to Cathedral Rock, a sacred site where drawing and painting en plein aire only suggests the richness and power of Mother Earth.
Even the standing majesty of the sycamores, alder and oaks catch electric light.
I begin a pastel sketch while the sky is still a benign blue.
14 X 11 inches on Pastel Board.
By mid-morning the sky turns threatening, and as if the Vortex surrounding the Cathedral could speak, the skies darken and begin to open up. We pack up, but stay in the gathering rain, enjoying the moisture. Who doesn’t appreciate the gift of monsoon?
More on dodging monsoons in Sedona and experiencing the spiritual Vortex later.
Any other Vortex lovers?
The majestic and awesome Aravaipa Canyon, in central Arizona.
Can one even try to capture the raw beauty?
(oil sketch, 6 x 12 inches).
A little further down the trail,
with a view of the Cottonwood grove in the canyon.
A little pastel sketch begun,
a little more…
And then it’s time for a late afternoon Sycamore sketch in oil.
The oil palette, very tidy.
Aravaipa is so lovely in the late spring.