Black Canyon of the Gunnison
11 ½” X 18”
Acrylic on a reclaimed cabinet door
This weekend I was determined to make art. And, as bad luck would have it (good luck for me), Clint had a doosey of a cold, so I retreated to the studio for some much needed art time.
Two weeks ago, we celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary. We packed up the car and headed over Molas pass and east to Gunnison, Colorado. We had a grand old time hanging out together and exploring new places. I loved the high plains sea of sagebrush surrounding Gunnison, charmingly placed on a plateau under a big bowl of a sky. We saw canyons with wild, icy creeks and the snow-topped Sawatch Mountains. We crossed the Continental Divide in yet another place and stopped for a roadside lunch where we gazed into the beautiful Weminuche Wilderness. I came back inspired and with plenty of photos to work from.
Our first stop was the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. It’s one of those places like Canyon de Chelly, where you’re traveling through a pleasant, but unassuming landscape and all of a sudden—bam—you come upon this holy-cow canyon (in this case carved by the impressive Gunnison River). The view into this deep maw of a canyon is knee buckling. There were places where I wouldn’t even lean on the overlook's railing—yet at the same time, I longed to have wings so I could soar out over it.
This painting was an obsession. I’d drawn out the basic shapes last weekend and laid in a few washes of color after spending the afternoon wrestling with my Cascade Creek painting. I couldn’t wait to get back to it. Yesterday I grabbed my morning tea and went straight to it, painting most of the day, bringing the piece nearly to a finish. I got lost in color, finally setting my brush down late in the afternoon.