Long Canyon in Winter

This was written in Aphrodite a few weeks ago when we were blessed with day after day of sunny weather and Sophy and I took a daily trip out to Long Canyon ito draw:
The low winter light shows up such amazing detail on Long Canyon’s huge red walls. They don’t seem as flat and monolithic as in the summer.There seem to be more facets, divisions and contours. I am reminded of when I take a look with my reading glasses in the front hall mirror, after days of of just a passing glance without the specs. Suddenly all manner of wrinkles,fine lines and textures appear. Wow!
In this amazing red canyon, wind and water have made sweeping lines, ripples, creases and crinkles. There are water holes and pock marks and all variation of rough and smooth. The colors range from cream to ochre and orange and pink and red to siena and burnt umber. The colors glow neon in direct light. And then there’s the desert varnish, scattered along the walls, sometimes big flat surfaces, other times lines and blotches. It is a shiny dark brown purple in the shade and a mysteriously uncategorizable color in the sunlight which I am trying to figure out. Blue from the sky complicates matters. The sky itself is an impossible cheap postcard blue.

                                    (waiting for the snow to melt to finish this….)
There’s a learning curve to drawing cozily in Aphrodite. I had zeroed in on my drawing subject while walking and gazing up in awe. When it came time to start the drawing I was a bit nonplussed by the fact that I couldn’t see what I wanted to draw as it was higher than the window. Fortunately I found I could see the subject by sitting back into the couch corner right by the window.

Today I overshot my drawing site as Apohrodite’s overhang makes it impossible to see what’s up. I have a round blotch of tar on the asphalt that’s my site marker. In drawing on site one has to be in exactly the same place each session, as even a foot or two in either direction will change the relationships of shape and form. So I turned round and found my site. I was utterly delighted to also find my watch right there behind the vehicle, having lost it the day before.

My dog Sophy has gotten used to the routine. When I get out my pastels she negotiates the front seats’ middle divider with it’s round cup holes and gets herself comfortable in the front passenger seat which I’ve made into an extended bed. She knows she’ll get a walk as a reward for her patience. The oh so blue sky rides the utter silence. What a wonderful thing to be out doing my favorite thing on the beautiful winter’s day!

5 thoughts on “Long Canyon in Winter

  1. I want to come with you! Love that line, “the sky is an impossible cheap postcard blue.”

  2. Sounds like a fun time, better than working a desk job, even if its for less money. Keep on doing it for those of us that are touched by your art work.

  3. Donna

    Oh Scotty, so glad you are back to your blog. I know the bit about the lines and wrinkles on the face you mentioned. I see it when I happen to use the 2x mirror to check out eyebrow growth. You have to remember that you “earned” every one of those wrinkles and be proud of them. Otherwise, wishing I was in Long’s Canyon or Calf Canyon or any other canyon around you. Having your pet around is wonderful, I take my dog just about everyplace I go. Please keep painting so beginning pastel people, like me, can see how it’s really done.

  4. Scotty, Really lovely descriptions of your place and way of being in your world.
    Very sensuous. I feel like I am there. Many thanks.

  5. Beautiful post inviting us into your landscape, your world, your paintings. A gift.

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