Snow Canyon Sonnet, 12 x 16, original watercolor, unframed.
Snow Canyon is one of the most beautiful and amazing places in Utah, although lesser-known than its cousin up the highway, Zion National Park. At Snow you can find every combination of lighting, every range of color from cool to warm, muted to saturated, and every texture, from smooth sand dunes to rippled ridges to craggy cliffs to scrubby sage. Like much of the desert, there is striking contrast everywhere you look. There is also a surprising amount of water, if you know where to look for it—especially for a desert. And it feels like you can see forever.
This scene may look a little familiar if you've been following my work. This is from the the same view as "Snow Right After Rain," that was so popular at my last show. A couple of people requested a horizontal version of that landscape, so this is an attempt at the horizontal format. I may eventually develop it into a larger piece. But for now I'm happy with it as is.
Sometimes I think I could be perfectly content painting nothing but Southern Utah. But I have to confess, I love the vast variety of landscape here. The mountains, lakes, canyons and forests of Northern Utah are just as captivating as the red rocks and arches of the southern half.
One thing that adds an extra degree of integrity to my Southern Utah landscapes is the Primatek mineral pigments made by Daniel Smith. I own almost a complete set, and I find they render the colors and textures of this region better than anything else I've seen or used. Part of the reason is they're ground directly from actual minerals, some from this very area. I also love the way they separate and granulate, and even sparkle—not like fake glitter, but with a natural luminescence coming from the minerals themselves.
QUESTION: What is your favorite area to explore in Southern Utah? or near you?
I am an artist and art instructor working in water media. Just knowing I can watch colors run together makes it worth getting out of bed every morning! Helping students capture the same excitement is equally rewarding.