Tuesday, July 17, 2012

More from southern Utah - plein air and canyons in photos

With so much local/regional CO painting going on, the Utah trip got a bit sidelined by the paintings that needed some final work or adjustments.

A while back, I did sit down and finish up a couple of them, and this seemed like a good time to post them since I didn't make it out to paint today.  

Not in chronological order here, but best one first:

Gathering Storm over Duffrey Mesa - 8x16"
pastel on board with Golden pumice + black acrylic
© S.Johnson

Duffrey Mesa is located right near the town of Boulder, UT.  I had this view a short walk up the hill from our campsite, which was about 5 miles east of Boulder along the Burr Trail Scenic Road.  I was the one who found this campsite, and Wayne and I have determined that we will be returning to it - the views were incredible, and I could literally paint in 360 degrees.

I painted this the morning we left to drive up to Torrey.  The storm that was to produce the record high winds over the Memorial Day weekend was starting to build, and the clouds made for a perfect addition.  Boulder Mtn./Aquarius Plateau is visible in the distance.

A rare photo of me + easel in the same shot.  And, it's a bit breezy, which always adds to the excitement of painting on location.  Or not.

Next is the painting done two days prior, while camping on a pinyon forest plateau near Bryce NP.

Table Cliffs and the Old Juniper - 8.5x11"
pastel on maroon cardstock

This painting is one I'd like to revisit in oils; I think it would be more likely to have met with my pre-painting expectations (and we all have those, right?).  Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of the location, so it would have to be done from this pastel.  Also about 50 yards on a hill from our campsite, it looks east towards the Table Cliffs, with the town of Escalante probably about 30 miles as the crow flies beyond.

And now, I get to share some of my favorite photos from the trip, and the reason I will never stray far from the Colorado Plateau:  the canyons.  Skinny, wide, dry or wet - I love them all!

An unassuming entrance...

...to Zebra, an aptly-named and true slot canyon, located off Hole-in-the-Rock-Road:

Next, in Cottonwood Wash, located on the east side of the Waterpocket Fold in Capitol Reef NP - hiked later in the day after my Duffrey Mesa painting:

Holy Batman - another photo of me (hiking in Tevas for the win!)
The chockstone that ended the day's hike for us that day...

And, finally - White Canyon, located on the western edge of Cedar Mesa and not far from Lake Powell:

Climb down into White Canyon

 Abstract reflection in pool

 Wayne under old log...which was deposited there by flood water, a reminder that narrows like these are deathtraps during flash floods

The money shot:  beginning of the narrows section known as the Black Box, and the end of our hike that day:

The next morning's hike down Gravel Canyon, a tributary in White Canyon, and next to last day of the trip:

Thank you, dear readers, for allowing me to share my canyon obsession with you via these photos.  I hope you enjoyed them!


  1. AWESOME photos!! And good to "see" you, too!

  2. Great post, esp. to see you two, and the way you handled the white cliff face is superb.

  3. Thanks LeAnn - glad you enjoyed them :).

    Thanks so much for stopping by, Casey. The cloud shadows racing across the cliff were a compelling part of wanting to paint this, I must say.


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...