"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 http://www.redrock.org/ 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.
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. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7z3ZMbeUgdU
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.
"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.
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. http://www.lvrj.com/neon/monet-paintings-lead-impressionist-exhibit-at-bellagio-gallery-139426673.html To our unknown surprise there was also an exhibit by famous sculptor Richard MacDonald. http://www.bellagio.com/shopping/richard-macdonald.aspx
What a treat and lunch with lemon drop martini's was great inspiration. Unfortunately the gambling wasn't so good to me.
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.
Thank you Monet for your inspiration the day before at the Bellagio.
Now to paint the Red Bud trees in the canyon.