This year's Zion Plein Air Invitational was fantastic for many reasons. Aside from the amazing painting possibilities and hanging out with some truly great artists, a few of us took advantage of the canyoneering and hiking Zion has to offer. I arrived a day early to join artist Josh Been and friends for a slot canyon adventure down Pine Creek. This canyon runs below the famous Zion tunnels and included some cool inner chambers, cold swims and long rappels. It was great to visit a part of the park few others see and was an interesting start to a week full of painting in Zion.
Later in the week during my painting demo at the Human History Museum, my wife Michelle made a surprise visit having driven up from Prescott that morning! It was so great having her there for a few days. A funny thing happened during the demo. Someone asked if I minded people watching me paint and I commented that if I minded I wouldn't be doing plein air events. I told the story how just a few weeks before during the Sedona plein air event, Dave Santillanes and I were painting Cathedral Rocks when a bus full of Japanese tourists showed up and surrounded us while we worked. Just one of the risks of painting in popular spots. No sooner had I mentioned this when a bus load of Japanese tourists unloaded at the museum and surrounded me during my demo! They were very polite and it wasn't a problem at all, but their timely appearance did bring a few laughs. There was a bit of rain during Michelle's brief visit so we took advantage of it to hike to the Emerald Pools to see the falls. Beautiful with the autumn colors!
I was pleased with the work I did throughout the week and the actual wet paint sale went well. I picked up a couple of purchase awards from supporters of the event and that helped with my overall sales for the show, my best ever for this event. Thanks to Zion NP and all the organizers of this show!
When we got the chance to do something other than paint Josh, Dave and I hiked up Angel's Landing. We resolved to do more exploring of the places we paint. Next year I'm bringing rock climbing gear...