Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Another memory painting

Memory of Canyonlands
6x8 inches - oil on canvas panel

This is the second "memory" painting, based on a photo taken from our mid-October trip there last year.  We spent a night camping outside of the actual park boundary, in a BLM-managed site called "Hamburger Rock" campground.  We sat in our chairs watching the sun set over the distal silhouetted buttes and mesas of the Island in the Sky district of the park.  The sky was a beautiful pale peach fading to an eggshell-colored blue towards the zenith, with streaks of cirrus clouds cutting across it.  

I had to make a few adjustments to the middle ground after the painting was done from memory, a thumbnail sketch, and notes as to colors in areas.  I know sunsets are considered trite and a cliche' by many critics, but what can I say?  I love them!  When I see this, it reminds me of the stillness and calm of that fall evening, and the joy I feel every time I watch a sunset in a beautiful place.


Here are a few more photos from that same late afternoon and evening at the campground:

Long Shadows
A lone juniper cast shadows across a patch of sandstone slickrock

View to the east
A few remaining spires of Wingate sandstone form small buttes east of the park

Island in the Sky
This wide-angle view, taken atop the "Hamburger Rock", looks towards the distal mesa defining the edge of this district to the north.

Sun Pillar
I had never seen this before.  It is classified as a type of halo phenomenon, but unlike sundogs, these are not caused by light passing through ice crystals, but merely reflecting off of the faces of flat crystals as they fall through the atmosphere.


  1. I think you did a very nice job with in the sky, a subtle gradation which suits the mood of the painting very well.

  2. Thanks, Dan. It's interesting, observing the light in sunsets, and how it differs according to day, time, location, season, etc. We get lots of "in your face" sunsets around here, with intense colors, as well as these more subtle versions. It really does influence the mood of the painting.

  3. Nice job on the memory painting, and of course I'm a fan of all the photos. How come you always see such cool stuff happening in the sky?

  4. Thanks, Jala! I have no idea how I manage to see all these neat things, oither than we are outside a lot? Plus, it seems more cool stuff happens here than other places I've lived...esp. CT


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