Isn't Life Grand, Adventure in Arizona and Utah
October 08, 2015
Grand Canyon, Grand Staircase and Grand Wash
I've just returned from a terrific trip to Arizona and Utah. First stop, the south rim of the Grand Canyon. I love to visit the artists at the annual Celebration of the Arts along the rim and in the park. As an Invitational Event, sponsored by the Grand Canyon Association, the Celebration is a time to meet with and watch painters throughout the Grand Canyon National Park.
I watched and connected with some of the painters. And explored the canyon from the rim overlooks. There's a terrific, easy, trail that runs along the South Rim.
I've been attending this inspiring art event at the Grand for three years now, and I really leave inspired. In fact, this year I painted on the rim too.
While at the Grand Canyon, I was fortunate to have some clouds for the first few days. So I explored the self-assigned "Shadow and Light" essay and created a new portfolio.
Comanche PointShadow and Light at the Grand
Desert View, with Comanche Point Inner Gorge ViewI used my 55-300mm lens to explore and capture a closer look at the inner gorge. Some of the oldest rock on the planet
Next stop Escalante Festival of the Arts
I decided to actually register as one of the artists at the Escalante Arts Festival. Driving from the south rim of the Grand Canyon to Escalante, Utah is spectacular as I passed through the Navajo Reservation, crossed the Navajo Bridge at Marble Canyon and continued up along Hwy 89A to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. I didn't stop at the rim, but instead camped at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in Utah. Designed for ATV enthusiasts, the park has a small campground (read that as not much privacy), but it was fun to enjoy sunset on the sand dunes.
Escalante State Park was my destination, my home base for a week. The festival provided group camping and 6 of us were sharing a sweet space with water and picnic tables.
I enjoyed the inspiration of the participants in the festival, and each evening there was an event highlighting geology, natural history, and a few receptions for artists. The locals treated us very well. I completed three oil paintings while at the festival, and sold two of them at the final brunch.
After the Festival
It's been years since I've explored Scenic Highway 12 in Utah. Originally I talked with the rangers (thanks Ranger Shannon), and I thought I'd wind up down the Hole in the Rock Road for some backcountry hiking. Instead I drove to the Grand Staircase along the Burr Trail. I was completely surprised at the grandeur, the Wingate Sandstone forms, Long Canyon and Crack in the Rock Slot Canyon.
Escalante-Grand Staircase First look at the Gulch, Grand StaircaseThe Escalante/Grand Staircase National Monument is one of the most stunning areas I've ever seen. The Burr Trail, near the Gulch. Grand Staircase National Monument Crack in the Rock, Burr TrailThe Escalante/Grand Staircase National Monument is one of the most stunning areas I've ever seen. Burr Trail Inspiration- King BenchThe Escalante/Grand Staircase National Monument is one of the most stunning areas I've ever seen. My painting on the Burr Trail, King BenchStill learning to paint with oils, plein-air. Rolling Hills-Burr Trail
More to follow. Stand by.
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