Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Moab, Arches, and Canyonlands Plein Air Paintings

Ahhhh... Moab! 

I do love my solo trips to the desert. Seriously. If you've been following me and my work for a while, you already know that the desert is my happy place. In the past few years, I've visited several national parks such as Death Valley, Zion, and Joshua Tree, and each one has provided healing and solace for me in exactly the way I needed at the time.

Earlier this month, I took a four day trip to Moab. No, I don't camp. I love a hot shower at the end of the day, and I like to cook my food over a real stove. So I always rent a small Airbnb with a full kitchen and wifi, and I make that my home base for a few days. Because my desert trips take place most often in the winter or colder months, the sun goes down by 5:00 or so. In the morning, I get up extra early, hike and paint during the times when the light is the best, and then I use the evening hours to paint a still life or a self portrait. And then... I sleep! It's a very special time when I don't need to take care of anyone else--just me. Instead of nurturing the husband, kids, dog, and home, I can use this time to nurture my soul and my art. I'm very fortunate to be able to do this (thanks, Hubs!), and I don't take a single moment for granted.

This trip was much needed. I had some things to sort out. And, I had been itching to come back to Moab ever since we stopped by VERY briefly back in March with the whole family. My goal was to paint six paintings--I ended up coming back with 8!

Please enjoy these new pieces, some of which are available through my website or through Saks Galleries in Denver.

Oh, and a quick side note about my palette: in spite of Utah being a very red/orange/earth tones kind of place, I didn't have red on my palette at all on this trip. I got those beautiful rich warm colors by combining Sennelier's Chinese Orange with Michael Harding's Amethyst. It was a match made in heaven. :-)

Above: "Delicate Arch," 9x12", oil on linen mounted aluminum.
I had never done this hike before but I can see why it's the most popular hike in Arches National Park. It was a steep climb with beautiful views and the most amazing reward at the top!

Above: "Kane Creek Cliffs" 8x10", oil on linen panel. I had the pleasure of painting alongside the amazing Joshua Been one morning, and this was where we set up. It was freezing cold on that shadow side of the cliffs, but so worth it for that view! Josh painted an 18x36" in the time it took me to do this little 8x10". :-) By the way, Josh is the inventor of the Fly on the Wall and Daytripper easels, which I use regularly for plein air. Check out his website here.

Say hi, Josh!

Above: "Shafer Canyon Overlook," 8x12", oil on linen panel. I spent a full day in Canyonlands National Park (Island in the Sky district), and ended up doing three paintings that day. Here's one where I got a real strong block-in but the clouds moved in quickly and the light changed completely. Thankfully I took some photo references and was able to finish it in the studio.

Above: "Buck Canyon Atmosphere" - 10x10 inches, oil on oil primed textured canvas. One of my favorites from the trip. Loved every minute painting this one--and that view!

You can see more pictures and paintings from my trip on my Instagram (@annarose_artist). Here is a small 6x8" self portrait I did in my weird apartment lighting. :-) I kind of enjoy painting in unusual lighting situations because they present fun new challenges.

Anyway... it was a great trip. Where should I go next??


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