sunrise 1To my great delight, the sun rose on a clear beautiful cool day. Watching the light move across the rocks was a thrilling sight and we were eager to get out and start painting. Sometimes I am asked: “Why would you spend all that money to go sit on a beach or stand on the side of a mountain and try to paint it?” My answer is always: “For the sheer joy of it!” Just as a fisherman enjoys being out on a boat even if the fish aren’t biting, there is something so magical about the beauty of the scenery! Sometimes we capture the image, sometimes we only capture the mood, but the universal truth seems to be that plein aire painters have been enjoying the process for centuries. There is something so exciting about picking your spot, zeroing in on your target and then trying to find a palette that will show the true colors of your image – hard to put into words, but there it is….

OAK CREEK IIOak Creek Canyon, one of America’s most photographed spots. Diane gets an early start on a picture perfect day.

Sadly I left my camp stool at home, and boy did that ground get cold and hard before our session was over. I promptly went to Walmart and bought a folding chair to use for the duration of our stay!ME AT OAK CREEKSKETCH I

I was happy with a couple of sketches and hope to use them for a larger painting in my studio later.SKETCH III

Sherry and Diane quickly fell under the spell and thoroughly enjoyed their stay. I will never watch Wheel of Fortune without remembering that day. They have a beautiful backdrop of the Oak Creek Crossing, and I’m inspired every time I look at it!OAK CREEK VII

Sherry started with a pen and ink sketch of the central rock. Then she painted a watercolor impression of the scene:


We all thoroughly enjoyed the morning. OAK CREEK VIIIOAK CREEK 1 However, even rich and famous artists have to eat! By common vote, we chose the Wildflower Bakery in Sedona for lunch. And dinner. And lunch again. Great place!

wildflower bakeryBack home in our Red Rock Retreat, my friends chose to paint some more:in our house


HOME AT NIGHTBeing their tireless leader, I crumpled and took to my bed.


Diane’s Tree in the Shadows.

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