Monday, June 23, 2014

Field Studies and Paintings on Utah's Grand Staircase Geology Trail - Part 1

Roland Lee painting Thor's Hammer along the trail below the rim at Bryce Canyon National Park. It's amazing how many people want to stop and look over your shoulder when you're painting on the Grand Staircase Escalante trail or in Bryce National Park. This photo was taken by an oriental tourist who insisted on having his picture taken with me. 
In the next few posts I thought I'd show a few of my sketchbook field notes, drawings and location paintings from last week's research trip along the Grand Staircase in Utah. I've been painting the Utah landscape for many years, but it was fun to make the trip with a couple of geology professors. It was like having my own living "on-site" Google reference. Any time I had a question I could just ask and they would tell me. And I had lots of questions. Of course their perspective is about the geologic details, and mine is all about the light and shadow on the landscape. Theirs is about accuracy and mine is all about artistic license. So it was a fun pairing. We had a blast together.
    These studies were done in Bryce Canyon. Of course Bryce is not in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument (since it is its own national park), but it showcases the Pink Cliffs of the Claron formation on the geologic Grand Staircase, and is probably the must stunning and well-known spot on the route. We spent one whole day here.

My on-location sketchbook study of Thor's Hammer in Bryce Canyon National Park
My on-location plein air painting study of Thor's Hammer in Bryce Canyon National Park
My outdoor plein air painting box made by Sienna holds all my paints, brushes, and paper and sits atop a tripod. It can be set up in minutes anywhere I want to paint. Even on the trail in Bryce Canyon National Park. On the pochade box is my watercolor painting of Thor's Hammer. 140 lb. Arches watercolor paper and Daniel Smith watercolor paints.
Thors Hammer and Temple of Osiris. Watercolor studio painting by Roland Lee

1 comment:

  1. What a great time we had! Thanks for the opportunity.