Full Moon Open Studio is this Tuesday, at my studio in the Metal Arts Village, Tucson. I will be featuring this painting, a recent oil based on studies made of a special place in the wash at Rancho Linda Vista in Oracle, AZ.
In studio paintings, I like to let the mark making and color fly. Abstraction meets representation, and the painting becomes something more than the original study, which is more often than not painted on site.
Above is the small plein air study made of this prehistoric waterfall, mainly of the little top section, a very intriguing boulder conglomeration. This piece is 12 x 9″. The studio painting is 24 x 36″.
In the distance you can see the east side of Tucson and the Rincons.
On the mountain it is cool. Down below it’s about 106F.
Remembering the fire in 2003 that you could see from Oracle, in the north.
Oil sketch of recovering trees, 10 X 8 “, 2012.
The storm over Cathedral Rock comes closer in at 1:00 pm. The sky darkens.
Before too long it’s time to skate along the side of the meadow to Oak Creek at the base.
The water roils and churns, inspiring, the slabs of red rock lay flat.
We dodge under some gentle oaks and watch the rain on the creek.
After some time we walk slowly back to the meadows as the sun comes back out again.
And start another sketch, this time in oil. The spirit of the ancestors has wound its way around.
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.
To get to the beautiful and scenic Rincon Peak from Tucson takes about an hour and a half, promising a warm afternoon of painting en plein aire.
Before you get to the Miller Creek Trailhead, however, you must past the old movie set, the town of Mescal.
A town not too tough to die, but desolated anyway. Seasonal tours on Saturdays. Not sure what movies were made there. Do you know of any?
Then passing through Happy Valley, beautiful Oak, Sycamore, Juniper and Mesquite trees surround dry creek beds. Until finally we set up in a spot near the Miller Creek Trailhead. The trail is an 8 hour hike to the top of Rincon Peak. We’ll stay below.
Finished oil sketch, 14 x 16 inches. A study for a future studio piece to come. It was 100 degrees when we got back to Tucson Town! Isn’t it too early for that?
Long vistas and prickly saguaro friends are very appealing on one of my recent excursions to the far east side of Tucson, Arizona. The winter weather has been cooperating well – gorgeous sunny days, not too warm or cold. Makes for a great excuse to get out there and enjoy the desert and work from life.
The light on the saguaros becomes an integral part of the composition in my 14 x 11″ study in oil below:
and will become information for a larger studio piece coming up.