July 17, 2010

Grand Indeed, pastel

Grand Indeed (25 x 19.75 dry pastel)

In preparation for our trip to the Grand Canyon, I read books about it. I saw pictures of it. I studied maps of it. I watched videos. I must say, though, that there is no way I could have prepared myself for the reality of standing on the edge of that magnificent canyon! There simply are no words to describe the feeling. It seems as though there should be a stamp, or tattoo, one gets once you've "canyoned" so when you're talking about it, someone else can know if you really know the canyon. It is truly beyond words.

Some subject matters seem almost "hands-off" to me when I consider painting them because they seem impossible to capture. That's a bit how I feel about the Grand Canyon. However, I was compelled to spend more time there after returning home and getting lost in this painting was a wonderful way to do that. I wandered around all the nooks and crannies and hilltops and studied the ledges formed over thousands of years. It was such a joy to work on this piece.

I was prompted to post this piece because I was reading a wonderful blogpost by Katie who's husband taught her to fly (so cool!) and one of their trips was over the Canyonlands. Travel safely!


  1. Aww that's so sweet of you, Sandy - and I'm so glad you're sharing this piece with us. Some moments really are so hard to capture, but you really dove into this piece. And I think it's lovely. Whew! The heat of it all down there!

  2. Grand, indeed! Great job, Sandy. Your post is exactly right, you just don't know its magnificence until you've experienced it in person.

    The second time we went we had a truly amazing evening which photos and video couldn't capture, so we have to rely on our memories. The sun was setting gloriously to the west, and when we looked to the east to watch the light dancing off the rock we were astounded to see the full moon rising. So for several wonderful minutes we couldn't decide which way to look and gave ourselves whiplash trying to look both ways at once.


  3. This is so beautiful! I never fail to be amazed at how almost photographic your work is! :0)

  4. I have been to the Grand Canyon and like you was stunned by it...overwhelming is a word that comes to mind. I never considered trying to paint or draw it, but you have been brave enough to go for it and the result is pretty wonderful! Still, no photos, videos or art works seem to fully express the Canyon because part of experiencing it is the full surrounding of the environment, the scents in the air, the breezes, the temperatures, all make up its magic and mystery. It seems a sacred place.

  5. Sandy, I have never been to the Grand Canyon, but have seen other canyons and experienced the grander of Yellowstone, The Badlands and Pikes Peak just a couple of weeks ago. I know what you mean about not having any words to describe it. You did a beautiful job capturing the expanse and beauty of the canyon. I am ready for another road trip!!

  6. Hi Sandy,

    Beautiful! You captured the feeling of heat. I have been to the Grand Canyon and it is truly an incredible place. Your painting does it justice.

  7. Katie, thanks for the comment - I know what you mean about the heat. I nearly had to get the fan out after posting this piece!

    Don, Thank you so much for your kind comment. Having watched a few Grand sunsets I can really get a sense of what you might have witnessed. Thank you for sharing that story; I felt like I was right back in the Canyon again.

    Sandra, What an incredibly nice observation. Thank you for noticing something I work very hard to achieve :).

    Karen, I agree it seems a sacred place and having been so awe-struck with it the first time I was compelled to return. I am still in awe. Thank you so much for the nice comment about my painting. It was a nice way for me to remember my experience there.

    Carol, Yes, I think I am ready for another road trip now, too!

    Sue, thank you so much; what a kind comment!

  8. wow this was truly a labour of love, beautifully captured.

  9. You did a great painting of the Canyon. I haven't attempted it but I might.
    We went in December of last year so there were really no tourists there to speak of. The vast silence was what hit me. I loved the Kolb Studio perched on the edge of the Canyon. Breathtaking, all of it!