|Road to Professor Creek - 9x18"|
pastel on UArt #600 paper, toned with gray acrylic wash
I have waited a year to do this painting. At last years' PleinAir Moab, I took a photo of this same view, in the afternoon light, and had thought I might do it as a studio piece, because I was completely captivated by the view - plus, there's The Road. This location is about 20 miles east of the Hwy 191 junction with Hwy 128, in an area known as Professor Valley. I discovered last year that this dirt road, which dead-ends after less than 3 miles, takes one to some incredibly scenic views of Professor Creek. Incredibly, no one, especially painters, seems to know about this place (although Deb from our 4C group now does)! As a plein air painter, there is much to be gained by taking the road less traveled...I will be back for more next year.
At any rate, I'm glad I waited to do this piece on location; photos just don't do any justice to what you see as you stand there, taking it all in. Also, the storm that swamped the entire region on Friday provided a gift: the snow on the La Sals, which is like icing on the cake. And, the lingering clouds obscuring part of the mountain let me have some fun with edges again.
I had been reviewing the photos I took last year prior to this year's trip, experimenting with various crops, to help me decide what locations to return to, and determined this worked beautifully as a 1:2 format. It's on a non-standard size, something I'd not use for a plein air competition because it would require matting.
Anyway, I got most of it finished in the two hour window I had available, and was finally able to finish it up today. I actually had Wayne drop me off here while he went and explored nearby Castle Valley and further east along Hwy 128 past the Fisher Towers. It probably made for a curious sight for drivers to see a painter standing there, essentially in the middle of nowhere, with no vehicle or form of transportation nearby.