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!