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Weekly Paintings By National Award Winning Artist Terry d. Chacon

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Painting the Beautiful Zion National Park in Winter

"Eagle Crags"   9 x 12 oil on canvas board, plein air with a palette knife.  

When my artist friend Patricia Rose Ford asked if I would like to join her for a painting trip to Zion, I was a little hesitant because I was worried about the cold weather.   Well it was cold, but on the sunny days it was worth every bit of freezing for the opportunity to paint the beautiful vista's of the brilliant Zion National Park.  

I arrived on Sunday afternoon.   Artist friend Nita Harper who also joined us, was waiting for me to go paint with her as Pat  was involved in the Zion Home Studio Tours at her brothers studio in Rockville, Utah.   Robert Ford is a photographer and he certainly lives in an area where he has the opportunity to expand on his creativity.   Every where you look there is a photo or a painting.  

Bob took us up the hill from his home in Rockville to show us a few views that we might be interested in painting that afternoon.   When I saw the Crags, I know this would make for a very interesting painting.   The light was incredible and the Crags were in full view.  Known for their gnarly, spiny look, where  eagles land, nest and live.    

After a nice dinner in town, we came back to the McBrides and turned in for the night.  When I awoke in the morning the view from the McBrides was incredible.   It was 16 degrees and a very clear winter day.  We decided it might be good to paint close to the house, that way we could go in for coffee breaks and get warm.   It worked out great. 

As I started to paint this beautiful horse came over to say hello.   He stayed all day.  At times he would chew on the fence as if to say "remember me"!   He would come back periodically just to take a look at the paintings.   We became good friends.  
"Virgin Valley View"   12 x 16 oil on canvas, plein air with palette knife
The pond at the McBrides was frozen and we decided it would make for a fun painting.  

"McBride's Frozen Pond"   9 x 12 oil on canvas, in plein air with palette knife.

My new found friend watching me paint the frozen pond.
The next morning we were out the door early and headed up the canyon through the tunnel to the other side.   We were about 7000 feet.   Still quite a bit of snow, but the sun was shinning and it was comfortable painting, as long as you forgot about your frozen finger tips and toes.  

"On the Side of the Road/Zion"   9 x 12 oil on canvas, in plein air with palette knife.

My artist friends Nita Harper, Patricia Rose Ford and me.   Painting snow....what fun!
I have always wanted to paint snow.  I finally had my chance and I love it.   I had often thought about how I would handle the white powder, and now I know.   Of course it doesn't hurt to have an exceptionally beautiful scene surrounding you to bring it all together.    
After a nice lunch at the Zion Lodge we headed down by the Virgin River.   The view below was so interesting starting with the Virgin River with the different grades all the way up to the famous Watchman.   I did this on a 8 x 16 inch canvas to show the height of the scene.   The sun setting in the west made for some very dramatic light on the red and orange rocks.     

"Look Up"  8 x 16 oil on canvas en plein air with palette knife 
A beautiful afternoon painting the Watchman above the Virgin River.
Well we knew the sunny days would probably come to an end.  Wed. morning it was misty and cold.  Rain was in the forecast but we managed a morning of painting in overcast grey skies.  

"Sage Brush in Winter Light"   6 x 12 oil on canvas board in plein air with palette knife. 

"Towers of the Virgin Valley"   6 x 8 oil on canvas with palette knife
It was so cold outside!   But we managed to do a couple paintings.
After a great burger at Oscar's, the sun started making an appearance.   We located ourselves at the visitor's center amphitheatre.   The "Watchman" was once again calling me.   The light was amazing.

"Red Ridge" 9 x 12 oil on canvas in plein air with palette knife. 
I would like to thank my friend Pat for inviting me for a wonderful painting trip and taking photos, especially since I forgot my camera.  Thank you to the McBrides for hosting us at your lovely home and views.  Another thank you to Bob Ford for his expertise of Zion and great stories about the area.   A great place to paint, one I will have to go back to again.
Until next time, please enjoy the ART!   Terry d. Chacon
Paintings are For Sale, prints and notecards  are available on Fine Art America.  Click on the link below.

1 comment:

  1. As always Ms. Terry ur work is just beautiful. One day I may try my hand at plein air but until then I well just enjoy ur work. (*u~)


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