more Grand stuff
Taking a break from a very large commission to avoid work and catch readers up on stuff. The Grand Canyon stuff to be specific. I can't speak for other artists but I believe that many of us share a common trait, the little understood yet pervasive WAIK disorder or Who Am I Kidding Disease. It is a terrible affliction, some characteristics of this disorder are: constant disappointment, low expectations, heavy sighing, a needling questioning of ones self-worth, general malaise, feet shuffling, followed by microbursts of elation and confidence followed by those other items on the list. I go through it every time I do one of these painting events. And painting in the Grand Canyon or as I like to call it, Mars, makes it even more pronounced. I new it would be tough going in and looking back all things considered, for a Florida guy, I did okay. I just think the thing to do here, and the whole point of bringing this up is, to learn to shut it off if you have it.
I mean why make ourselves miserable? We are where we are.. might as well enjoy the process of painting. Which I do mostly, by the way. The painting up top is a result of one of those joyous little moments; painting on the rim in fog or low clouds or whatever and I hear this very odd whooshing sound going right over my head, not once but several times. Couldn't see what it was until the clouds lifted and come to find out it was a pair of ravens doing what they do best, having way too much fun flying. Like a dance. I was thinking that there would be a ton of canyon paintings so I would try to do a few pieces that weren't just canyon scenes. I took shots as best I could, ravens are not lazy. The next day during a major rain and lightning storm, I drew in the bird at my apartment and filled in the rest when it cleared.
Same with this one. Mules. Didn't think anyone else would paint them and as far as I could tell no one did. Might be because they don't really stay still for long, all they do is pee, fart and poop and after the rain storm there was this lake in the middle of the pen, I called it Lake Donkeydoo, that got mucked and drained while I was painting there... the little brown rapids were running off right next to my feet and whoooo-ooooh-eee was there a powerful odor, I about hurled. But I sold it so it was all worth the suffering.
This was my third painting, which I felt really good about at the time until I saw some of the other efforts. But I did my best. The great lesson is do not try to render all that stuff, make a painting instead. Edit. Felt right at the time but it got a little bizzay. I could bore you with more of these and maybe I will tomorrow but I wanted to include a few shots from the place that I just thought were cool for different reasons.
Look at this big beauty. He was for sure the largest elk I saw all week and they roam around like we are all just ghosts, they don't even budge when your car comes around the corner. This boy had a harem of about 10 girly elk and I'm pretty sure he was BMOC in those parts. The rangers had a full time job telling the throngs to stay away from the guys with the big pointy things, they may act like a pretty pony but they can do some damge. Of course, while I was shooting this shot, some stooopid dickhead guy was standing about 12 feet from Johnny Twelvepoints here, throwing rocks at his butt. No kidding. People are just idiots. I yelled at him but secretly was hoping the elk would turn and gore him a few new ones.
This was cool. On Mohave point, just looking around and I saw the shadow that looked like a profile of a face... scooted over about 10 feet to line up the tree for hair and voila! and Indian in profile... or Bob Dylan. Your pick.
I was near Kaibab and had heard a high pitched chirping sound which I mistook for a bird. Wandered out to the rim and there on the precipice with a couple thousand feet of drop, sat a chipmunk or whatever...not even sure what that is in chipmunk feet, but there was this little guy calling. It was mournful and sad. He was just chirping out into the void with no response. He stayed there for a while calling to his mom or his girl all the way across the canyon and when he got no response after 10 minutes, he gave up. Must of been a long distance call.