Tuesday, April 15, 2014
"Canyon Morning" © #canyondechelly #desertpainting #Navajoreservation
Oil on Linen
Last week I had the luck to go to Canyon de Chelly to paint with 5 other Southern California painters, Marian Fortunati, Debra Holladay, Sharon Weaver, Linda Brown and Nita Harper. Canyon de Chelly is a National Monument located in the north east corner of Arizona and part of a Navajo reservation. We experienced wild weather from a desert dust storm, to 33 degree mornings to perfect sunny days on the reservation.
Here is a photograph of Nita and Linda painting along the South Rim of the canyon. The views were endless and painting the canyon is easy. You can find spots to paint out of your trunk or you can hike a bit, depending on your comfort level.
Nita Harper, Marian Fortunati and Sharon Weaver in the 3rd seat.
To explore the canyon floor hiring a Navajo guide is necessary. We used Canyon de Chelly Tours, Leon Thomas Skyhorse is the owner and Irene was our guide. She couldn't have done a better job, making sure we made it to all the best spots for painting. We were riding in a Suburban with the 3rd seat and rotated seats clockwise with each stop so everyone had an opportunity to see well. Irene told us that clockwise is the Navajo way and she was surprised we came up with the system as none of the other groups had ever suggested it. Although we spent the night outside the canyon in the Best Western and Holiday Inn, we felt like Irene was able to give us the canyon experience that people talk about after camping overnight in the canyon.
If you ever have the opportunity to see or paint Canyon de Chelly, go for it!