Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Another landscape near Moab - pastel, 9x12

Towards Hidden Valley
9x12 inches - pastel on Artagain
© 2011, S.Johnson
Based on a photo taken during our late October trip to Moab last year, this was another good piece to test drive some new palette colors, including the peachy Mt Visions for the sand and cliff highlights and the pale lavender used for the sky.  Purple sky?  Hey, why not.

Hidden Valley is aptly named; it's not at all visible from HWY 191 that leads into Moab, but it's almost adjacent to the town to the south.  This view is where we turned around and headed back - the Colorado River is behind you here, though not visible from this point.  I suspect that salt tectonics produced this valley, or graben, as the erosion pattern is vastly different on both sides of the valley, and the rock itself appears different.  I always notice this sort of thing when hiking through southern Utah, and find it fascinating (as only a geology geek will).

This was a timed painting - 100 minutes total.  I then showed it to Wayne, who pointed out some minor things that bugged him, so I fixed those in about a minute.

Weather is still really crummy here and predicted to be so for a couple more days, so more Utah paintings to come!

I may have posted these last year, but it's been so long that even those that saw them won't remember, but here are a few photos from the Hidden Valley hike:

Trail through Hidden Valley - the town of Moab is to the right (north)
Approaching the end of Hidden Valley - the Colorado River is off in the distance

Desert Varnish on the large sandstone fin (Wingate or Navajo?) seen in the painting (middle of the trio)

Tilted sandstone, I'm guessing Entrada formation (underlying white is probably Navajo sandstone)
on the opposite side

La Sal Mountains as seen to the east through Hidden Valley on the way back to the trailhead


  1. You live in a beautiful area, and your records in photo and painting form are an apt journal of your travels. It is my pleasure to see them.

  2. Thanks so much for your comments, Casey. Having lived in and/or travelled through most of the states and regions of the US, I feel blessed to live here. I love it and can't imagine living anywhere else ever again (save for possibly some areas in the pacific northwest...the only part of the country I've never been through).

    I'm delighted that you enjoy my photos and art of the Colorado Plateau region!

  3. Fantastic work, Sonya! We love the color of the plants and the contrast between them and the warm reddish earth color.

    And..... purple sky, yes, yes, yes! Looking forward to admire your purple skies!

    Antonia & Fabio

  4. Thank you so much for your comments, Antonia and Fabio. I always like the contrast of these blue-green-gray desert shrubs against the warm colors of the earth, and that was one of the features that drew me to this particular image to paint. And, I'm glad you like the purple sky as well!

  5. Stunning landscape in Colorado, your painting captures the beauty perfectly, love the sky too.

  6. Thanks so much, Diana, and I'm glad you like the sky as well :)

  7. This painting is absolutely beautiful- the composition, the colors, the setting, the line work... great job. One of the best I've seen lately. I wish I was there in Moab now for the plein air event; how I miss living out in the open clean air of Utah. Thanks for sharing your work!


Your thoughtful comments add value to this blog - thank you so much for taking the time to leave them!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...