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Wednesday, the 25th_Sunday, the 29th October, 2017; Moab, Utah.
“First Night in the Desert … Venus Setting beneath a Desert Moon”
(near Recapture Pocket, Utah)
Oil on Pannelli Telati fine Cotton Panel
5” x 7”
My first night in the deserts of the Southwest was in October 2013, near Recapture Pocket, not far from Bluff, Utah. I had come down from the Colorado Rockies, past a closed Mesa Verde (thanks to the damned government shut down that year), and wound up across the valley from Recapture Pocket. It was a warm evening with a quarter Moon off to my left as I sat and watched Venus setting over the desert rocks to the southwest, and the next morning I began this painting … I dug it out and finished it the other day.
|Somewhere in the Utah Desert.|
However, to continue with this year’s trek, I arrived in Moab, Utah on Wednesday, October 24th, and met up with my old friend, the Dinosaur footprints expert, Dr. Martin Lockley, attended a talk by him at a local Paleontology group that evening, and helped out Martin, on excavating a Dinosaur footprints trackway over the next couple of days, along with volunteers from the Paleontology group. Martin had a permit for the excavation of the trackway site and it was a most interesting couple of days. Think about this, that as you are digging away the overlying soil, and then brushing it away off the rock layer below, that you are among the first human eyes ever to see these newly exposed tracks from the Jurassic times. The trackways consisted mostly of Therapod tracks (3 toed carnivores), but a few were of plant eating Sauropods. By the way … nice meeting the other volunteers: Diana, Barbara and the Mongolian lady, Ken, Mike, Albi and the Polish guy (apologies Mongolian lady and Polish guy, but I didn't learn how to spell your names ... if i had done so I would have remembered your names).
Continuing the theme of Dinosaurs, I highly recommend that if you visit Moab, to head north on Highway 191 for eleven miles to the junction of Highway 313, that goes to Island in the Sky (part of Canyon Lands National Park), where you will find Moab Giants. Here at Moab Giants you will find an extremely well thought out Dinosaur trail of about a half a mile, displaying life-size & extremely life-like replicas of a myriad of Dinosaurs. These are the best replicas I have ever seen, and there are a few that you can get right next to get an idea of how big those suckers really were! If you are like me you will read every information board, and improve your mind … the family groups, however, seemed to move at the rate of young children dashing from one Dinosaur to the next, as the kids couldn’t wait to see what the next bend presented in the way of saurians. Hopefully they will stop and read the signs on future visits when they are a bit older. There is also an informative inside display or small museum, and a 3-D Prehistoric Aquarium, which is set up so that you think you are actually viewing an actual aquarium of ancient sea life … both of these are most worthwhile. On the day I was there it was half price in celebration of the upcoming Halloween holiday, and families were all tricked out in their Halloween gear … my favorite was the Ghostbusters family complete with the “slime spirit,” that I met at the Tyrannosaurus Rex replicas … I managed not to be slimed(!); perhaps because I kindly took their group photos for them. Put it on your list folks … Moab Giants.
A few examples follow:
|One of the excellent information boards ...|
|… and the replica dinosaur.|
|T. rex eating the Moon.|
|T. Rex with Ghost Busters.|
After I said my goodbyes to Martin, as he headed back to Golden, CO, on the Sunday, I found a dispersed campsite on Willow Springs Road, and prepared for my visit to Arches National Park. And that will be the subject of my next posting or two, since I am still in the area.
Pigments used in the painting were, Imprimatura: W&N Venetian Red;
Drawing: W&N Ultramarine Deep;
Pigments: W&N Ultramarine Deep, just touches of Cadmiums Yellow Pale, Orange & Red, Venetian Red & Cremnitz White;
Michael Harding Prussian Blue;