Colorado River


Sketch of the Colorado River by Sarah Sullivan

Colorado River

The Colorado River is magnificent as it flows through Utah. It is stunning and I worked to capture its beauty in this sketch.

Most people know that the Colorado River carved the Grand Canyon and is an indispensable source of water for plants, wildlife, and humans throughout the Southwest. Fewer know how vital the health of the Colorado River Ecosystem is to our region, and fewer still how very fragile it has become in the last century.

Even with existing protections, most of the Colorado water is used up and very salty by the time it makes its way from Colorado, through Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and California, and then finally crosses its last political boundary into Mexico.  Recently the federal government removed over two million acres of the land that protects the Colorado River from the Bears Ears National and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.  The Hopi, Navajo, Ute, Ute Mountain Ute, and Zuni people have protested, along with environmentalist, conservationists, and recreational businesses, but other voices are needed too. I hope you will read up on this issue and lend your support for maintaining protections for this incredible river.

This sketch is on a sheet of 17 X 12-inch black paper and done entirely with gouache. I used photos as the reference from a recent trip to Utah

About Sarah Sullivan
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