We camped on the edge of the Grand Canyon’s North Rim, not in the park, but along the Rainbow Trail in Kaibab Forest. If you look closely at this painting, you can see our two campers, my husband, sister, and her husband. Our spot was just down the road from North Timp Point.
The hiking and biking along the 36 -mile single track trail was irresistible. Between the canyon views and the fall colors, we were overwhelmed by the richness. Each day we went out for hours. This sketch shows my sister reading in an aspen grove while her dog sits close by.
Each morning, I got up early to attempt to capture something of the canyon’s grandeur. And each morning I became entangled in the challenges of showing something as complicated as the Grand Canyon. It is incredibly vast, deep, and full of formations that do not line up with neighboring formations. The canyon lighting is dramatic and the shadows shift as the day progresses. I often lost my place and would find that I was repainting a landmark that I had already placed somewhere on my page. Here is an early sketch. You can see that I had trouble.
I soon found that the massive mountain that dominated the view is Steamboat Mountain and learned to use it as an anchor for the other formations. Even as I became more skilled in showing the view, I did not succeed in showing its beauty. The following sketch is the last one that I did the morning we left the canyon. I wanted very much to capture something of the canyon’s glory, but this remains a goal for another trip.
My favorite sketch is the first one in this blogpost. I like its simplicity, its colors, and the fact that it tells a story that is easy to understand.