Thursday, June 09, 2005

Sketching around our cabin in East Zion

Click here to see an album of sketches done this week in Zion

This album includes sketches I did a few days ago at the Ponderosa area on the east rim of Zion National Park. We have a cabin there where we spend a lot of time in the summers. I always take my sketchbook and try to do some sketching.

Photo of a black bear in Zion National Park

On this trip to the cabin we found things were not entirely in order. Upon closer examination we discovered a black bear had visited our cabin and demolished our barbeque grill. He then left a deposit to let us know he'd been there. I've started whistling real loud on my hikes around the cabin these days.

Paintings by Roland Lee of Zion National Park

Although I sketch mainly for fun, many of my drawings end up as finished watercolor paintings. This painting is of the Sentinel in Zion Canyon. Click on this link to view my complete gallery of Zion National Park Paintings.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Planning our New Zealand Trip

"Still Water Sunset on Aitutaki" Click to see all the sketch book drawings of the South Pacific

We're looking forward to 3 weeks in the South Pacific. We're flying Air New Zealand out of Los Angeles making a stop in Tahiti for fuel, then Rarotonga International Airport to change planes, then 160 miles north to the little island of Aitutaki. Yep, it's a pretty small island, and we're pretty anxious to see the palm trees and blue-green water. After a few days on Aitutaki, we're flying back to Rarotonga for four days, then on to New Zealand for 11 days on the North island. Stay tuned to the blog and we'll do all we can to make you wish you were here!

Click here to see watercolor paintings Aitutaki and Rarotonga in the South Pacific

Friday, May 06, 2005

Watchman Trail Hike - Zion National Park

Sketchbook drawings of Zion Canyon

I spend a lot of time in Zion National Park. I have been sketching and painting there for about 25 years. Now, as a member of the Board of Directors for the Zion Natural History Association, I also attend frequent meetings there. Today, following one of those meetings, my friend Lyman Hafen(who is the director of ZNHA)suggested we shake off the cobwebs with a speedy hike up the Watchman Trail.

We left the Park offices and speedwalked up the road to a well marked trailhead just above the ranger residences near the Watchman campground. Today, rain was predicted and the skies were threatening. Although the temperature was pleasant (in the low 70's) it was extremely muggy because of the impending rain. Lyman only went part way up the trail, before turning back to get to another meeting, but I continued on to the trail's end on a spectacular viewpoint.

With a few minutes to sketch I started a few drawings of the Sentinel across the valley, and West Temple on the West rim. Within minutes thunder bellowed and I sketched furiously as I watched a heavy thunderstorm approach. The wind picked up, lightning lit up the sky, and heavy drops brought an end to my sketching. I took cover under a rock overhang and exulted in my good fortune as I watched nature's fury unleashed. These are the moments that I live for.

Watercolor painting of the Sentinel in Zion National Park

After a short time the rain eased up and I started back down the trail. I stopped and sketched some wildflowers, and made a few more notes on the way down the trail. I had the whole trail and experience to myself, and only met 4 other hikers today. When summer hits, the trail will entertain many more people.

To see more sketch books and watercolor paintings of Zion National Park visit Watercolor Paintings by Roland Lee

Friday, April 29, 2005

Article in Artist's Magazine

This little sketchbook drawing of a church in Grundlsee Austria was done on location, and became a reference for the finished watercolor painting (below) done later in my studio. Both images were featured in "the Artist's Magazine" during April 2005 in an article I wrote titled, "Capturing Memories."

Click here to see the Artists Magazine article

Traveling with a Sketchbook

Watercolor Paintings by Roland Lee

Since we travel quite often, I thought I'd begin this blog to act as a kind of online travel journal. I keep a hardbound sketchbook on all my travels which is filled with pencil drawings and written notes about my experiences.

This is a pencil drawing done on location in St. Moritz Switzerland. It is an example of the kind of sketches I do while I travel. I am using a 6B pencil and a Watson-Guptil archival sketchbook. I like the hardbound books because they hold up better while traveling and pack easily into pocket or daypack.

We're looking forward to a 3-week journey to the Cook Islands in the South Pacific, and New Zealand during May. As I get to a computer I will post sketches of the trip.

To see more sketch books and watercolor paintings visit Watercolor Paintings by Roland Lee