I had to share this. It’s a genuine petroglyph, carved into Navajo Sandstone in Dry Fork Canyon, Utah. We visited the site on a tour with the Museum of the West last year. There are dozens of these wonderful Barrier Canyon era figures in the area. They were done in the Archaic Period and are very old.
Somebody bought a copy of this postcard today. Highway 141 is an amazing drive. It starts not far from Grand Junction and travels through spectacular canyons to Gateway, and then beyond, to Nucla, Naturita, and points south.
The photo on the card was taken at Gateway. A pioneer ranch cabin sits beside the curving road with a magnificent butte, The Palisade, looming in the distance.
The Gateway Canyons Resort is located near this spot. The resort includes two fantastic restaurants as well as facilities for events, getaways, and all-season adventures. If you love automotive history, don’t miss one of the best auto museums anywhere. It is on the property.
In the 90s, I joined a small group of artists at a nature center on Mt. Washington near downtown Los Angeles. There was a little farmhouse with a kitchen and a small barn that had been donated to the city. The artists were a fascinating group. One had done artwork for NASA and, during the time I know him, flew to Amsterdam to see the Vermeer exhibit. He did gem-like miniature portraits in oil and had organized the group. He also arranged for the space. Another was a prominent just-retired television producer with an outrageous sense of humor and a free-wheeling drawing style. A third was a glamorous Russian painter with an exquisite home in The Hills. Other members came and went. One of these was an artist who drew Pasadena nightclub patrons in bistre on vellum. We met periodically, and I don’t remember exactly how often. I think it was every other week. We each posed for a three hour session. If we could convince friends or relatives to take our turn, that was fine, too. In this picture, you see the couch we sat on. The stuffed owl belonged to the nature center.
I call this group of drawings my Elyria Park Series. Most of them are pastels on Canson Mi Tientes paper. I liked the rough, textured side in mid-tones. You can see others on Zazzle. I have some on Red Bubble, too.
Sold a copy of this snowy mailbox image on BigStock today. I guess I’m not the only one who’s having trouble inserting pictures into posts here on WordPress. It just started recently. Sorry about the inconvenience of having to click on the link to see what I’m talking about here. I hope they fix the problem, or at least explain soon.
It’s still relatively warm today, and we will probably go for a walk before the football games and cooking begin. We don’t have cable, and we don’t get FOX up here. The local signal is too weak, so poor Alden will miss the morning game. As for the cooking, it isn’t much. I will put our turkey breast in its oven bag this afternoon and we’ll enjoy the scent upstairs as I write.
I would be discouraged by my paltry progress on my novel, but it has been a good month. I have the whole thing plotted out. I know what it’s about, so I know where to begin. That means I will have to redo the first chapter, but I know how to do that. The characters are shaping up and the conflict has defined itself and expanded. I’m hoping to make more progress today. The book is up to a little more than 21,000 words now. I plan to have it finished by the end of December. Okay, I’m not going to “win” NaNoWriMo, but on Thanksgiving, I am giving thanks for this wonderful month of community and support.
Yesterday, I signed up for the January conference in New York. I’m looking forward to attending with my daughter. We had so much fun last year. You can see some of the pictures I took of Manhattan in the snow on Zazzle. I changed most of them to black and white and added a little grain. I took them with a point and shoot I can carry in my pocket. The advantage was great, walking around in Midtown, tourist that I am, without my big SLRs. The disadvantage was color noise and fringing. I really love the way the black and white worked, anyway. It captured the feel of the winter city.
I have fallen in love with a new kind of art material. (This happens to me often.) It is called Yupo. It isn’t really paper. It’s actually a kind of thin white plastic. I love it for watercolor abstracts. I can wet it completely or selectively, and then let one or two colors run where they will. I let it dry, use a wet sponge to wipe off the passages I don’t like, and then add more. It is a very spontaneous and joyous way to work.
In a way, it is like writing a first draft of a novel during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). You can let the material take you wherever it wants to go, and then, later, go back and rework the parts that don’t fit.
The link leads to a vibrant piece I did in almost pure chartreuse. I sold a copy of its digital image on Shutterstock today. My dad, a California Scene Painter and amazing watercolor craftsman, would roll over in his grave. He hated that color as much as I loved its outlandish French name. If you want to see more of this series, they are all on Shutterstock. Some of the originals are available on Absolute Arts.
I sold a copy of this print on Zazzle today. It was taken near Duck Pond Park in the Ridges neighborhood of Grand Junction, Colorado. It was one of those pretty snows we often get in late March or April when the first green leaves, and sometimes blossoms are on the trees. The white fluff sits lightly on swelling boughs like grace, while cotton-like clouds drift in sweet blue skies.
Each time of year here is pure magic. This morning, we walked around a lake near Fruita, about ten miles from our home. Flocks of geese and several species of ducks were resting out near the middle under a warm November sun. They reminded me of myself on trips from Los Angeles, stopping over in motels to recharge, or, in the midst of a large creative project to, well, go buy stuff for Thanksgiving.
Yesterday, while taking a break from my writing, I uploaded some pictures I took this fall. This one was shot on a spectacular October day. Alden and I drove across what locals call “the Stinkin’ Desert” to Delta, where we ate breakfast in our favorite truck-stop style cafe. I like my poached eggs really hard. I know that’s weird, folks, but they got it just right. This was an auspicious beginning.
The sun was shining and it was quite warm in the valley, so we were afraid the recent mountain snow had all melted away. There was, as it turned out, no cause for fear. As you can see, the snow up near the Grand Mesa Visitor Center was absolutely gorgeous.
Now, of course, the autumn leaves you see on the aspens in the background are long gone. Down here in Grand Junction, the skies are leaden. It is perfect weather for processing and reflection. That’s the way the creative process, works, after all, at least for me. I take in new experiences like a glutton, swallowing them whole while they are available, and then, in times like this, after the fall colors and before the stunning silences of winter, I make them my own.