Monday, September 29, 2008

New Paintings of Canyon de Chelly

Canyon Patterns 20x20 o/p

Tsegi Farm 18x18 o/p

These are two new paintings I've done of Canyon de Chelly. I've posted a couple of other paintings of this canyon (The Fall of Summer and Home of Spider Woman) but haven't commented much about it. Canyon de Chelly National Monument is located within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation in northeast Arizona. These amazing canyons were carved by streams that flow from the mountains east of the monument. "de Chelly" is a Spanish corruption of the Navajo word Tséyiʼ or Tsegi, which means "inside the rock" (tsé "rock" + -yiʼ "inside of, within"). The Spanish pronunciation of "de Chelly" was adapted into English and is now pronounced "deshay".
Aside from the obvious beauty of the canyon, one of the things that interests me about this area is the farming by the Navajo that is still taking place there. The geometric patterns created by these farms lie in conrtrast to the organic nature of the canyon walls and meandering streams. Other elements such as ruins, hogans (a circular style home built by the Navajo) , corrals and dirt roads also show up in the canyon. The possibilties for compositions are endless!


Frank A. said...

Great "stuff",Bill. I will have to come back for more in depth reading later. Your rock climbing is interesting as well. About the only thing I ever climbed was out of trouble.
Good luck with the upcoming Arts Festival.

I hope that you do not mind that I have added you to my "favourites" list.

Take care.. :- )

Sylvia Jenstad said...

Wow!! had to stop... these are amazing paintings... love your colours... your composition... everything .... really cool

Bill Cramer said...

Frank, Glad you like the work. Climbing really helps me clear my thinking and takes me into some of my favorite landscapes. It's nice to not think of a place in terms of painting once in a while.

Sylvia, Thanks. It's nice to get comments like that from fellow artists!

Rusty Jones said...

Cruising the internet looking for Canyon De Chelly images and came across your blog. Taking a week-long painting trip to the canyon in September. with the Outdoor Painters Society. Your stuff looks great and makes me ready get out there to paint. Gotta bookmark your site. Back later

Bill Cramer said...

Thanks Rusty. Good luck in the Canyon next month. I look forward to seeing what you come up with. Northern Arizona is such a great place to be and paint!