Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Having a Great Fall (of sorts)

The Prescott Area Artists' Studio Tour was a nice success. We had a lot of people visit over the three days of the tour and more than a few of them went home with some art! It was great sharing my space with Anne Legge. She took over one of my work benches to create some new pieces while I completed a few smaller paintings at my easel. The best part of the weekend came when Megan and then Sarah took over my plein air set up to work. Megan actually sold one of her paintings of an ant (Behind her in the photo. I should have bought it myself! The rest are priceless and will not be available at any price!) I wasn't sure that I'd like having so many people in the studio, but it turned out great. I will definitely plan on doing this again next year. Thanks Mountain Artist Guild for putting this together!

The following weekend I got the chance to go on a rock climbing trip with my good friend and long time climbing partner, Mark (in photo above). We went to Red Rock Conservation Area near Las Vegas for three days to climb some moderately long, fairly easy routes. Well, even if the climbing is "easy", things can still get a little crazy. A couple of hundred feet up our first climb I was nearing the end of the second pitch (roughly 170 feet or so) when a foothold broke sending me on a 30 foot fall down the face. I yelled a cuss word as one is apt to do in these situations, then everything slowed down for a moment and I told myself to close my eyes and wait for the rope to catch me. The gear and Mark held the fall, however, one of my hiking shoes that was hanging on my harness for the hike down broke off and fell down the cliff. I scraped my right elbow pretty good, too. Full of adrenalin, I sorted things out and went back up to finish the pitch. I got to where the hold broke and still had to go further (risking a bigger fall!) to get to the next anchor.

We climbed two more pitches and decided to rappel down the route back to the base. On the way down the rope went into a crack below us and got stuck. We worked on that thing for quite a while before deciding to cut it and get out of there before night came. We never found my lost shoe, so I was forced to do the hour and half hike out barefoot. I have fairly tough feet and there was no way I was going to wear my tight climbing shoes out. It just goes to show that you can do nearly everything right and still have the s**t hit the fan. The rest of the weekend wasn't quite so eventful, just a lot of good climbing with lots of air beneath our feet! Thanks Mark for the catch and good times!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Blown Away - Grand Canyon Plein Air on the Rim!

The Grand Canyon Plein Air on the Rim event ended some time ago and I returned to a lot of home stuff, a studio tour and other things so that what happened there is just now sinking in. It was an amazing time. As the title of this entry suggests, the weather was as beautiful as it was difficult. We had clouds, rain, hail, winds, fog, lightning and many rainbows the entire week. There was so much weather that it really cut into the time we had to paint. I was nearly struck by lightning twice, one time I actually felt a small charge pass through my body at Hopi Point. Despite all this (or perhaps because of it!) everyone produced great works for the opening. I am always impressed with the artists at these events. I was equally impressed with the Grand Canyon Association and National Park staff and voluteers! A truly hard working and dedicated group of people! They really put on a wonderful show. Many thanks to all!!

The opening reception was well attended and I sold nearly everything I had there, plus I picked up the Artists Choice Award. Getting that recognition from such a amazing group of painters was a humbling experience and will be one I will never forget.

The show runs at the Kolb Studio through Nov. 27th. Proceeds from this event will be dedicated to funding an art venue on the South Rim that will preserve and showcase the spectacular collection of historic and contemporary paintings owned by Grand Canyon National Park and the Grand Canyon Association. This permanent art venue at the South Rim will help to ensure that future generations of Park visitors will be able to experience Grand Canyon art at its finest. Get up there if you can!