West & Southwest Paintings

I was able to spend some time painting in some of the most breathtakingly beautiful natural geography in America, namely Jackson Hole WY, Park City, Utah, and in the Southern Arizona Historic town of Tubac. Here are just some of the paintings and studies that I’ve completed from those trips. As a native of New Orleans, a flatland city actually below sea level (my hills are levees), my experiencing both of these mountainous locations was spectacular!

Jackson Hole, WY is the home of Scott Christensen, one of my favorite artists and teachers. I spent two weeks out there both studying with Scott and exploring the region. The sights were so different for me: the majesty of the the Grand Tetons, herds of buffalo rumbling out across rolling hills of grass, the loneliness of abandoned weathered grey pioneer homes, cool mountain streams flowing over glacially deposited rocks, the view of a mother and baby moose grazing at the edge of a pond at the foot of the Tetons and the simple elegance of a column of white snow falling as its lone high source cloud blows quietly across the Valley. These events, all things I’ve never seen, make for endless possibilities to paint. The light in the mountains changes so quickly that I learned how important it was to catch the moment though quick and small 1/2 hour studies.

Park City’s Fall and colder high altitude allowed me, over a two week period, to actually witness and paint the progression of Fall colors in the Golden Aspens from the early snow capped mountain tops down into the lush valleys with rushing rivers. (The Provo River was just voted the top fly-fishing river in North America.) Early morning and evenings were a joy – right outside the windows of my host’s home I was treated to regular close-up views of deer and moose. This trip had such a plethora beautifully colored views and amazing moments that I am now enriched beyond belief in memories to savor.

Tubac, Arizona is a small historic town just minutes away from the Mexican Border town of Nogales. On a Sunday afternoon, we parked and walked across the border for a great lunch and the requisite purchase of Herraduro Reposado Tequilero, a fine smooth brandy. A thriving arts community, Tubac is in a dry desert area of Cottonwood trees, scrub brush and numerous types of cacti surrounded by mountains. The light in early morning and sunset actually makes the mountains and valleys come alive in warm glowing colors. Of course, since nights are very dark due to zoning prohibition of street lights, apparently, street lights would create too much ambient light upsetting the area’s huge mountaintop Kitt Peak Observatory’s 19 sensitive telescopes, this blindie quickly learned not to venture too far without an escort seeing as all those thorny cacti were just waiting to capture their next victim! Ouch!

“Have band-aids and a cane will travel. I never know what I will run into next!”

All paintings are Oils painted on 9” x 12” Masonite.

I was very thankful to be an invited guest! It was a lovely home appointed in the finest examples of furnishing – newly build, but masterfully created by local artisans schooled in traditions of the Turn of the Century The Arts & Crafts Movement and the Great Lodges of the Grand Canyon. It was a once in a life time experience for this guy from the banks of Bayou St. John!