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Weekly Paintings By National Award Winning Artist Terry d. Chacon

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

4 Days Painting in the Desert

"Wilson Cliff's"    8 x 10 oil on canvas w/palette knife

After my artist friend Patricia Rose Ford and birthday girl Lilli Miles (who took most of the photos on this blog, thank you!) picked me up at the Las Vegas Airport, we had a great lunch to celebrate our painting days ahead.   We went to the condo which Pat had booked for a birthday celebration for Lilli and was kind enough to invite me.  What a treat!    After settling in we decided to head out to Red Rock Canyon   to do an afternoon painting.  While driving through the canyon we spotted this view of the Wilson Cliff's.   It was spectacular and as the day went on it got more and more beautiful.   The desert light was playing it's beautiful self as I painted.  I so enjoyed this painting experience and could not wait for what the next day would bring. 

A Day at Valley of Fire.  

"Atlati Rock" 9 x 12 oil on canvas w/palette knife

Upon our arrival to the Valley of Fire it was raining.  We thought our best bet was to find some cover in a picnic area in order to not let our precious time pass us by.    

Seems this was a stop over for tour buses so we were not as secluded as one would think.  Before I knew it my picnic table was full of foreign tourist and it became quite crowded.   Spacial issues, hummmmm. 

Patricia Rose Ford and myself painting away the beautiful scene, even though it was raining off an on. 

                    This is Dog Rock.  I definitely wanted to paint this but it was raining and no shelter.  Lilli took this photo earlier in the week when they had a nice sunny hot day out at Valley of Fire.  

The light in the desert is still beautiful even when it is overcast and raining.  After a much needed potty break at the visitors center we headed out to find another place to paint.   Rainbow Rocks were suggested, but we ended up a White Dome.  

After setting up I was definitely seeing things.  LOL.   Actually there is a funny story behind this.   Have you heard of the channel Speed on TV?   There's a new show called Shut Up and Drive.   You can meet Townsend Bell and Justin Bell in this video and learn more about the show.   The guy on the rock is Townsend Bell. 
Justin Bell asked if I would play along and act like I was painting Townsend for their upcoming TV show.  The photos they took will air in May.  They put together a group of still photos to show some of their fun times while filming the show.   They certainly know how to have fun.    Lilli took this photo while they were photographing me painting Townsend.  

The car below an FLA will be the speed car for their next show.  It cost $385,000.00.   I believe they said it is made by Toyota and only 500 were made.    The car had its own body guard who took very good care of it all day.   Not only did he talk about the car to all the interested folks but he kept shining it to keep it ready for it's big race. 

We knew something was up when we saw 2 Highway Patrol cars drive up, and a couple really expensive cars.  

It was a great day, we met some very interesting people all day and everyone who stopped by for a potty break would wait around for the great car to be raced up the mountain.
Now back to painting.

"White Dome" 12 x 12 oil on canvas w/palette knife.

Rock formations are incredible in the desert.  Every way you look is another painting just waiting for our return.

                           And finally the sun!

So while waiting for the big drag racing moment, I decided to do another painting since the sun was making it's way through the clouds. 

"Valley of Fire"   6 x 6 oil on canvas w/palette knife.  

Oh, and so you know, we never saw the car race.   It was getting very late and we decided to head back to Vegas before dark.   Guess I will have to watch the TV show when it airs this month.  

No trip to Valley of Fire would have been complete without seeing a RAM.  Unfortunately this guy was very old and I think he was very lost.  

Back to Red Rock Canyon

Next morning after stopping at Starbucks we headed out to Red Rock Canyon.   We found a beautiful view on a bluff looking down over the valley towards Las Vegas.   After setting up the clouds started swirling, the wind came in and boy did it get cold. It was spitting rain off an on as well.   I wore shorts and Lilli found a rug to wrap around my body so I could continue painting.   The difference a day makes, yet here it was hour to hour.  

While painting this tour group came up in these nifty little cars.   They chatted for quite some time.   And not one person asked me why I was wearing a rug!    Never a dull moment.  

"Early Morning Calico Mountains"   9  x 12 oil on canvas w/palette knife.    I chose to paint when the sun was coming out as I was getting real tired of gloomy weather.   So when the sun peaked I painted. 

After painting and a quick change at the condo we headed to the Bellagio to see the Monet exhibit that was in town.  To our unknown surprise there was also an exhibit by famous sculptor Richard MacDonald. 

What a treat and lunch with lemon drop martini's was great inspiration.  Unfortunately the gambling wasn't so good to me. 

After returning home, Pat and I  headed back out for one last painting of the day.   The wind sounded like a tornado as it raced through the canyon.  But we held onto our easels and continued to paint.   The cloud formations were beautiful as they swirled through the sky.

"Calico Mountain"   6 x 12 oil on canvas w/ palette knife. 

The next morning was our morning to get up at 5 am, stop at Starbucks and go to a painting spot we had chosen the day before for our Sunrise painting.   It was very cold, but it was fabulous.  Magical has to be the word.  
Layering my painting with the underground colors, while trying not to rush so I can get the beautiful light on the Calico Mountains and Turtle Rock. 

Close to finishing.

"Turtle Rock"  Sunrise at Red Rock Canyon  8 x 16 oil on canvas w/palette knife

Pat and I were very pleased with the outcome.   We were finished by 8 am and it was starting to warm up. 

Thank you Monet for your inspiration the day before at the Bellagio.

Now to paint the Red Bud trees in the canyon.

"Red Buds"  Red Rock Canyon 9 x 12 oil on canvas w/palette knife.

While having lunch we enjoyed watching the rock climbers.

 "Spring Mountain Ranch".   No trip to Red Rock is complete without a trip the Spring Mountain Ranch.  Once owned by Howard Hughes.   Breathtaking views.  

The wild burros are everywhere.  They are very healthy looking which is nice.

One last painting in the late evening at Calico Basin, which is the back side to the Red Rock Park.

"Calico Basin" 8 x 10 oil on canvas w/palette knife.

What a wonderful, inspirational trip.   Thanks to my friend Pat for inviting me and a big Happy Birthday to Lilli.  You guys ROCK!

Please enjoy the art.   Terry d. Chacon

Some of these paintings are available, and all will be available in prints and note cards on Fine Art America.

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