"Candy Canyon" ~ The Grand Canyon National Park
And...the "Candy Canyon" painting is finally finished, woohoo! This was probably the most time I've ever spent on a painting 😳 But, Im so happy with how it turned out.
I wanted to capture that feeling of overwhelming awe that I experienced when I first stepped up to the ledge and saw the Grand Canyon laid out in front of me, in all it's beautiful, natural glory. I just stared, trying to take it all in, and yet, I felt as though my brain couldn't fully comprehend what was before me, so I just stood there and soaked it all in...for the majestic depth and colors and the incredible sense of me, feeling so small in that moment.
THIS is what I want my painting to evoke, and when I look at it, that's exactly how I feel, like there's almost too much to take in all at once, so I just study each part of the painting and it all takes me back to my visit to the Grand Canyon. Can't wait to go back again and explore even more!
Here are some photos that I took at the Grand Canyon, and used as inspiration for the painting...can you spot the Big Horn Sheep in the painting? It was such a surreal moment for me to see the sheep, right there on the edge of the canyon!
I was riding my bike along the South Rim; rode up from my camping spot, I always try to ride the National Park if possible and was in the perfect location with a beautiful ride up to the Rim. I got to the visitor center, and found my way to the rim. I decided to go left along the canyon edge, but quickly realized that wasn't going to work on my bike as there were just far too many people. So, I just meandered along, half walking, half biking to make room for the pedestrians. I stopped every few hundred feet to take in the incredible vistas and some photos.
I was riding along, when suddenly I came around a bend, in front of a group of people walking, and lo and behold, there was the sheep! Casually walking in the same direction as us...a whole lot of audible oooo's and aaaa's could be heard as the people behind me realized we came upon a unique site. Everyone crowded up behind me and I had to quickly comment we needed to give him some space, and everyone slowed down. The sheep was in no hurry and didn't seem concerned at all for the most part. But, after a few minutes he trotted off down the trail. I was beyond thrilled to have experienced such an incredible moment, but then about 10 minutes later, I came upon a disturbing scene...there was the sheep, cornered on a ledge, (as seen in these photos), with people far too close, in fact, a little girl, maybe 9-10 years old was mere feet in front of the cornered sheep with her back turned, posing as adults took photos. I was so sure that sheep was going to ram into her, as it had no place to go, I was worried for her and the sheep, but as I was about to say something she moved away, and at that moment the sheep lunged off the ledge and darted into the woods.
What had been a memorable moment, became bothersome with the behavior of people towards this beautiful animal, in it's home...we are just visitors, and must respect them. Yes, we want to enjoy the moment and memorialize with photos and videos, but we can do so in such a way as to not disturb and upset the animals.
Let's all be respectful of these beautiful National Parks and lands that have been preserved for us and all future generations. And part of that is the animals that inhabit the parks. They are integral to the beautiful, natural lands and should be respected for their part in creating such incredible places for us to visit.
I can't wait to go back, hoping to make a trip there this spring with my daughter, if she's able. We've always talked about visiting there together and I'm dying to get back and explore more of it! And, I'm sure I will be inspired to paint another painting!