Monday, April 29, 2013

Kids Get to Paint at Discovery Day in Zion National Park

Artist Roland Lee let Dallin Taylor add a few brushstrokes to his plein air painting during Discovery Day. Plenty of paints and palettes were on hand for families to try out and Dallin was all grins when he got to paint on Roland's painting.
Dallin Taylor poses with Roland Lee in front of the painting he helped paint at Discovery Day in Zion National Park
Three of my favorite National Park Superintendents. Left to right: Paul Roelandt from Cedar Breaks; John Hiscock from Pipe Spring; and Jock Whitworth from Zion National Park.
Barb Graves, the education coordinator for Zion National Park with Roland Lee. Barb is responsible for implementing the Youth Education Initiative, sponsored by the Zion National Park Foundation. Funds raised by the foundation help bring youth into the national parks. 
This past week was National Park Week and visitors received free entrance to Zion National park. To celebrate, Zion Park had a wonderful "Discovery Day" with free activities aimed at kids and families. There were lots of displays and demonstrations from Zion, Cedar Breaks, and Pipe Spring National Monuments with interpretive rangers on hand to answer questions. The old time fiddlers pitched in to provide music, and the weather cooperated with plenty of sunshine. Several of the artists who will participate in the "Footsteps of Thomas Moran" plein air competition in November were on hand to demonstrate their skills. Visitors were excited to watch the painters work on location, and some of the artists even let the kids try their hand with a brush. All in all it was a fun day and great experience.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Painting Outdoors in Snow Canyon With the Dixie Watercolor Society

Roland Lee painting outdoors in Snow Canyon Utah
A small group of hearty artists braved a brisk 40-degree morning to paint outdoors in beautiful Snow Canyon State Park, near St. George Utah. We enjoy getting together once a month as members of the Dixie Watercolor Society to hone our plein air painting skills and have fun. In this case, our numbers were thin, due to a spring storm which rolled through overnight and dumped snow in the higher elevations all around us. We found a nice spot out of the wind with an excellent view of the canyon's red cliffs and went to work. I used a new Sienna brand pochade box that was given to me as a gift by my friend Mark Rose. Mounted on a sturdy tripod it proved to my liking as it easily adjusted the height to my 6'1" frame.  I customized it by adding an   Eldajon watercolor palette and collapsible water can. The Sienna paint box is available from A Passion for Painting.
The Sienna Pochade box has room for everything yet closes up into a compact box for carrying. A sturdy tripod has a a secure and speedy mounting clamp.
The Sienna pochade box set up in Snow Canyon

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Painting Utah Barns in watercolor

Silver stained and weathered barnwood was the subject of our workshop
When I told my class we were going to paint a barn, I didn't mean with red paint and a roller. My latest workshop explored the nuances of weathered-wood and rusted-tin as we enjoyed painting this age-old favorite watercolor subject. We were lucky to have a couple of nice old relics nearby that survived into the modern day while civilization encroached all around them, including a bustling freeway nearby. It seemed a strange mix, as we sketched and painted the silvered wood with gaping holes, while big diesel trucks roared by us. Back in the studio later we used sketches to complete paintings with fantastic skies.
While the class sketched I did a quick watercolor painting of the old barns, while cars whistled by us on the freeway. It seemed a strange mix of the old and the new.

St. George Art Festival brings great weather and lots of collectors!

The St. George Art Festival held Easter Weekend in St. George Utah brought thousands of art collectors and hundreds of artists together. I have participated in the show since its inception back in the '80s, but it has grown to be one of the premier shows of its kind today. I displayed lots of new original paintings along with some new canvas-wrapped giclee prints that were popular among the buyers. I had several new collectors including Rod Shorey from California who had seen my work before, but purchased two nice originals for his collection. Both paintings were completed en plein air at Zion National Park. If you missed the show you can still stop by my art studio and gallery to see my current original paintings at 165 North 100 East, St. George UT. Call me if you are in town 435-673-1988.
Artist Roland Lee and collector Rod Shorey at the St. George Art Festival