Wind, Rain, River, 54 x 24 inches, Acrylic
The pillars at Mather Point and the flat rocks that sit atop them have intrigued me ever since I first saw them, in 1963. Time and erosion have changed them; in 2017 only two of the pillars have flat rocks capping them, the third having lost its cap during the 1990s. I chose to paint them as they were, not as they are. No one will ever see them this way again. The Grand Canyon changes. Eventually, even the rocks change.
Journey through Realms of Splendor, 22 x 28 inches, Oil
Violet shadows glide on wings of luna moths,
Filling contours and washes, engulfing plateaus and monuments as the golden light of day yields to night’s advance.
And the ephemeral glow of evening caresses the canyon with a tender turquoise touch.
In this moment between daylight and dusk, the last spiraling call of a canyon wren fades into the grottos and a rising chorus of nocturnal insects sings the canyon to sleep.
A Canyon of Colors, 29 x 29 inches, Oil
The whole spectrum of colors, from the cerulean and emerald hues of the water to the siennas, umbers, and ochres of the rocks, can all be found in the Grand Canyon. This brilliance of color starts from the tops of the cliffs and drapes itself down the rock walls, spilling into the river below. My goal was to capture a snapshot of these subtle color changes, from the highlights and shadows to the reflections upon the water. These colors can change so fast and dramatically from one second to the next.
Greeting the Sun at Moran Point, 48 x 24 inches, Oil
A Grand Canyon sunrise is a thing of incredible beauty. It all starts with a warm glow. The sun slowly creeps above the horizon, and the quiet canyon begins to stir. As the golden light intensifies, peaks and mesas rise from a sea of shadow. This painting began with such a sunrise and a quick plein air painting. Because the light changes so quickly, I could only paint a few notes of color before the sun’s display was over. Back home in the studio, I referenced some of my photographs and plein air sketches in hopes of capturing the magic I witnessed that day.
Hope, 36 x 24 inches, Oil on linen
My inspiration comes from patterns. They are always the first thing to draw me to a subject. Divisions of space. Light and dark. The subtle and not so subtle. I’m compelled by a need to capture what I feel in the moment. I have an overwhelming desire to understand it, interact with it using brushes and paint, and finally, share the results. My paintings are always about the feeling that compelled me to stop and paint something in the first place. For me, a successful painting is one that elicits that same feeling in the viewer. I consider it the completion of a circle.
Crimson Canyon, 20 x 16 inches, Oil
A river trip through the Grand Canyon is a life-changing experience, from the heart-stopping rush of white water to the feeling of being dwarfed by the massive red rock walls. Time stands still as you float quietly beneath ancient cliffs carved by the patient Colorado River. The murmur of distant rapids promises a break in your reverie. In this painting, I hoped to capture some of the grandeur of the canyon and the peace you can find in the midst of such an amazing place.
Chuckwalla’s Dominion: Clear Creek Trail, 48 x 24 inches
During the Great Depression, thousands of poor, unemployed young men joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to support their families back home. They worked on conservation projects in our parks and built many Grand Canyon trails and buildings, including Clear Creek Trail and this lovely stone bench. The bench’s schist slabs and the nearby granite spires were originally formed underneath a huge mountain range in the ancient continent of Laurentia. Laurentia and the mountains that covered these rocks are long gone. So too are the young CCC men. The bench remains to remind us of them.
Waking Dreams, 48 x 24 inches, Oil
The sun rose, stunningly lighting the Grand Canyon, framed with low-hung clouds. I quickly began painting. In a moment, the clouds swallowed up the canyon and the entire view vanished. At best, my painting was a study in white clouds. However, the photos I quickly snapped have continued to provide so much inspiration. This painting is like a waking dream—it represents a brief moment that quickly passes. The beautiful thing about being an artist is we can take a landscape and make it something more, something that represents our memories and dreams.
Play of Light, 28 x 22 inches, Oil
“It doesn’t get any better than this” is my motto when I am painting outdoors, taking in the visual feast and discovering the subtleties of nature right before my eyes. This painting was inspired by late afternoon sunlight, during the most dramatic time of day. I strive to express my personal, heartfelt love of the natural world and the peace and balance that can be derived from it. The Grand Canyon is one place that portrays that spirit.
Canyon Splendor, 20 x 24 inches, Oil
Change is the descriptive verb for Grand Canyon. It’s evident in eons of the geological record, colors in the rumbling water, erosion on the cliff walls, different ecologies, and even the extreme weather conditions. The canyon is forever in a state of flux, and therefore there are always opportunities to see it in spectacular new ways. It’s most striking when the light is moving, accenting forms and creating atmosphere that is practically tangible. This type of light is the most difficult to comprehend, compose, and re-create on canvas. This challenge inspired me to paint the canyon, reminding us of its everlasting change.
Sockdolager, 60 x 36 x 29 inches, Bronze
After almost three months on the Colorado River in 1869, John Wesley Powell referred to the Grand Canyon as the “Sockdolager of the World.” (Sockdolager is a slang expression meaning a heavy, finishing blow.) On August 14, the expedition reached a place now known as Sockdolager Rapid. Before attempting the rapid, Powell wrote in his journal, “Must run it or abandon the river. Good Luck!” Expedition member John Colton Sumner called the rapid “a perfect hell of waves.” The hatches of Powell’s boat, the Emma Dean, were fastened, and with Sumner and William H. Dunn at the oars and Powell crouched in the middle, they pulled into the waves.
The River Deep, 18x24, Scratchboard/watercolor
The Colorado River often flows unseen in the Canyon. I chose this view because the river was visible, adding to the drama of this south rim scene. Not only does sight of the river deep in the Canyon help me ponder the passage of time, but it reinforces the erosive power of water over the eons. The light is that of the setting sun – a personal favorite time of day. The warm light and cool shadows presents the viewer with a series of shapes and colors that few places can match.
Touching Peace, 24x18, watercolor
In Marble Canyon at River Mile 52, Nankoweap is a beautiful, peaceful, and remote place. This classic downriver view of granaries built into cliffside and protected for centuries by overhanging rock documents ancient habitation of this multi million year old chasm. Carved by erosion, a dance of water and gravity, colorful walls form the backdrop as afternoon shadows creep higher, intensifying reflections of downstream cliffs on shining water as reflected light softens the soaring, chiseled gorge. Cirrus sky and blooming Claret Cup cactus herald the seasonal cycle in this place of adventure, history, and legend in eastern Grand Canyon.
Midnight Storm Clearing, 36 x 24 inches, oil
In September of 2016, the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service, I stood on the canyon rim with my daughter and fiancée, watching the full moon rise over Vishnu Temple. A series of storms had swept through the canyon, obscuring views during much of the day but creating spectacular sunrises, sunsets, as well as beautiful nocturnes. On moonlit nights, comparatively few visitors explore the canyon as it grows mysteriously beautiful and uniquely magical.
Morning Light on the Rim, 24 X 36 inches, Oil
In this painting, I wanted to capture the warmth of the sun’s rays as they hit the snow-blanketed rocks of the South Rim. Capturing this view meant hours waiting in the pre-dawn January cold, 8,500 feet up, with a bitter wind whipping across the canyon. Long before the sun rises, the sky begins to lighten; then, as the sun peeks over a ridge, its rays steal across the landscape, and the rocks literally begin to light up and glow.
Yaki Point, 14 x 18 inches, Oil
My chief joy is painting from life. Getting out of the studio and painting on location is what keeps the work fresh and vibrant. Paul Klee said that the importance of a work of art is that it derives from an inner necessity. That personal motivation is what breathes life into an artifact and makes it transcend the simple act of visual representation. I want the viewer to feel the tremendous joy that I feel in the act of painting. That joy should translate through every brushstroke, providing a little dividend of that joy every time someone looks at the piece.
The Edge of Time, 24 x 22 inches, Oil
Each day at the Grand Canyon brings on new and beautiful scenes as well as many visitors from around the world. It seemed right to include them in this view of Maricopa Point as the visitors perch themselves along the rim. Taking the time to stop, they absorb the beauty of the canyon with its majestic views and the billowing cloud formations taking center stage.
La Vista Olvidada, Yaki Point, 30 x 17 inches, Pastel on watercolor paper
I go out to capture that one unique and spectacular moment of life, whether in the mountains, canyons, or urban settings. I might be slogging through a deluge, snowshoeing in -10°F, or painting plein air in 101°F. In spite of all those obstacles, I get to distill it all down to that essential instance of striking allure. I pride myself in painting something that anyone can see if they hang around: no exaggerations, no symbolism, and no implied metaphor.
Sunset Interlude, 24 x 24 inches, Oil
I have been painting the landscape since the early 1970s, and since moving from California to Arizona in 1993, my work has been based on the Southwest landscape, mainly Arizona and Utah. When possible, I paint outdoors and use that work as a guide to larger studio paintings. The inspiration for this painting was the warm, glowing tones at sunset looking to the east from Yaki Point on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Color Convergence, 36 x 24 inches, Oil
This painting is from one of my many river trips through the canyon. Hiking along the riverbank one evening, upriver from camp, the beautiful sound of the water dancing through the rocks made me stop to reflect. As the light began to leave the canyon, this amazing scene unfolded, with its high drama and contrasting warms and cools: a convergence of color.
Sunrise Service, 48 x 24 inches, Oil
The wide, scenic view from Yaki Point is revered by many. Like paint-carrying pilgrims, artists often gather there to watch, learn, and create. At sunrise, with priestly towers and a congregation of trees in attendance, the morning light slowly exposes the North Rim temples, western ridges, and depths of the Inner Gorge. It progresses like a whispered sermon until the profound truth of the Grand Canyon is revealed. There’s a sunrise service every morning along the rim, reaffirming our devotion to this Eden on Earth.