I’ve enjoyed participating this week in Grand Canyon Plein Air 2012. The goal of this 4th annual event continues to be gathering funds to make possible a museum venue at the Grand Canyon for the permanent display of the Grand Canyon’s remarkable art collection, including historic works by Thomas Moran, Gunnar Widforss, Carl Oscar Borg and many others. Among their other duties, the Grand Canyon Association does a remarkable job planning and facilitating the show with that goal in mind. Click here to learn more about membership in the Association.
We artists in the event are fortunate to be able to spend several days exploring the limitless vantage points along the South Rim, making us more familiar with the vastness of the Canyon and its ever-changing character. We are also enjoying special access to areas that are usually closed to vehicle traffic, allowing us to more easily get our painting gear to each location. Plus, it makes us feel important!
It’s an amazing experience to watch the light on the Canyon change throughout the day. The color shifts are extremely subtle and the shadows seem to change color continuously. I’ve found it helpful to block-in each painting as quickly a possible so that I can better judge the subtle changes in color temperature and then resist the urge to change my painting as the light changes. It’s an ongoing challenge.
Part of the fun of events like this is spending time with artist friends. We mostly behaved ourselves.
Friday’s Quick Draw event was fantastic, with all the artists rising to the challenge and creating excellent paintings during the allotted two-hour time limit. I was happy with my painting (Rocky Overlook, Oil on Linen, 12×9 inches) and was honored that it sold during the following live auction for more than its gallery price. The auction broke records for the event, with art sales totaling more than $30,000.
The show’s opening reception, featuring the numerous plein air paintings that we 26 participating artists completed during the week, also experienced great success. More than 100 paintings were purchased by collectors during the opening weekend. Sales will continue throughout the remainder of the show, with a projected 19,000 people visiting before the show ends on November 25, 2012.
My thanks go out to all of the dedicated people who made this event possible, and I’d like to say again that it was an honor to be included and to have the opportunity to paint alongside this group of incredible artists. I will look forward to future chances to visit and paint the Canyon.