|Fajada Butte - 6x12 inches, pastel on brown cardstock|
After securing a campsite and checking in at the visitor's center around 12:30 p.m., I took the loop drive through the park to re-aquaint myself with the areas and get ideas for painting. The combination of a poor night's sleep and strong gusting wind made both standing and and attempting a larger painting a no-go.
I have been drawn to Fajada ("banded", and pronounced "Fa-HA-dah") Butte the other times I've been to Chaco, and decided it would make a good subject for a small 1:2 format painting. The top of this butte, which was sacred to the Chacoan people, is the location of the famous "Sun Dagger" astronomical petroglyph spiral
|The perfect location for painting...|
|...both shade and windbreak|
Since it was an easy 3 mile round-trip hike, I carried my chair and the small folding table along with my daypack of pastel boxes (I added a new box for this trip, which you can see in the above photo). I must say that these little panoramas are very satisfying to create, and I'm finding that the light and dark brown cardstock worked out well for these landscape paintings.
|Wijiji Wall - 6x12 inches, pastel on brown cardstock|
On the hike back, I saw two photographers setting up for the full moon to rise over Chaco wash, and decided to head back to Fajada Butte to get some full moon photos of my own.
On the drive back, I saw a most unexpected sight:
I met up with the rest of the 4C group that was staying overnight shortly before they headed off to listen to the astronomy presentation and nighttime sky viewing through telescopes located at the park.
In light of the full moon, one of the objectives of the coordinator for this trip, Rhonda, was to try nocturne paintings for those interested. I did bring a headlamp, but was too tired to try and paint.
But, before I headed to my tent to try (unsuccessfully, I might add) to get some sleep, I experimented with moonlight photography:
|Light painting of the small ruin at the campground|
33 seconds @ f/5.0, with a few quick passes on the ruin from a mini Maglite, which is known as "light painting"
|60-second exposure @ f/5.0|
Interesting to see how much the stars "move" in such a short period of time
Because there are more paintings to share, including one that is a complete departure for me on many levels, I'll save the rest for another post.