Dry Hollow

Image    It feels so good to be walking on the rim of Dry Hollow with my easel and a backpack of pastels. I’ve allowed myself a new box of Nupastels in celebration. A fresh box is so mouth watering! It has been a long time since I’ve set my easel up as back problems have led me to do “recliner art”, which has also been fun, lying on the couch in Aphrodite (my moving studio) propped up with pillows looking out the picture window.


But today Sophy and I are enjoying the perfect temperature and breeze and the wonderful shapes and shadows in the hollow. I looked up ‘hollow’ on the internet as geographic terms tend to confound me and the definition I liked most was a hollow is like a ravine but with gentler slopes. This hollow is a wide canyon of creamy slickrock with  pale orange stripes from runoffs sliding down to the canyon bottom, and an occasional surprise ochre,burnt orange, or  dusky pink suffuses the slickrock. It looks molten, as if giant bakers had fun pouring thick batter down its sides.

Sophy and I walk along the edge on a flat bank of rubbly pale siena earth.  Small sparse wild flowers surprise the eye, teeny spots of dense color. I have to pay attention to where on the rim I’m going to draw, a spot I’ve had my eye on for a while.. My first landmark is an old twisted juniper on the right that reminds me of a flamenco dancer with  a beautifully arched back,arms raised and fingers snapping. This tree always makes me want to dance. Then there’s a large felled pinyon , weathered a silvery gray with curly branches on the left. My destination is just a few paces away. But Sophy will know the site the next time anyway and plop herself down under the shade of the nearest tree.


I tie my easel to a small fallen tree, snugly between two branches.It is so fun to be starting a large drawing after what seems like ages. And how idyllic the weather …there are even no gnats! Ravens soar  lazily below me. By the time I’ve placed the shapes on the paper (they dance around a bit before settling), the shadow patterns have changed so I fill in large swathes of  light and shadow. The detail will come later. The afternoon light is sweet and there’s such beauty all around me as I pack up, leaving my easel in a plastic bag with a ‘do not disturb’ written on it under a tree. Next time my load will be lighter.


13 thoughts on “Dry Hollow

  1. Hi Scotty ! So glad to find you ! Where are you? How is life?

  2. Not sure how your site works, but I’m trying to say hello to an old friend.


    One of my favorite spots in Boulder! And in your paintings! Glad you’re out drawing –

  4. Sandi Beckett

    Scotty, thank you for sharing your impressions and the photo of the easel and the beginning of another work of art-makes me want to fill the tank with gas and drive 600 miles east! Enjoy the lovely spring.

  5. Wonderful!! I can almost feel a soft warm breeze on my face, feel the intense sunshine, feel the sand and rocks under my feet… Glad you are out again and enjoy your new pastels!!!

  6. Heidi Mitchell

    Loved your photos and blog, Scotty. Especially the analogy with the bakers pouring thick batter down the gentle slopes! Great photos of those lovely pastels!

  7. Heidi Mitchell

    And great photo of Sophy, of course!

  8. Ann Winchester

    Ann and Jeremy, now in Cajarc, send you greetings and thanks for the photos and message. What amazing landscape you have around you; no wonder you’re inspired! Lovely work.

  9. Alan Petersen

    Beautiful Scotty, thank-you!

  10. Good to have you back, Scotty. Loved it, the descriptions are almost as good as your paintings/pastels. Looking forward to the finished products. xod

  11. I’m glad to see you back in the saddle. Pleasure to read your writing as well
    as see your amazing work.

  12. Beautiful work as always, and so inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing everything with all of us. I look forward to coming out to visit again, it has been way too long….

  13. donna

    Oh Scotty, how you make me long for a visit to the “other Boulder”. Glad to see you painting once more and Sophy out and around. You are living the life I would love to live, I can’t paint as beautifully as you. But I can enjoy your experience and your works of art.

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