Monday, February 5, 2018

In the Valley of the Gods.

Monday, 15th January_Tuesday, 19th January, 2018; Valley of the Gods, near Mexican Hat, Utah.

“Afternoon in the Valley of the Gods”
Oil Sketch on Pannelli Telati on fine cotton Panel
5” x 7”

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The first evening in the Valley of the Gods there was a very good Sunset.  Facing south I watched the glowing colours silhouette the buttes and mesas of Monument Valley, on the horizon some twenty miles away. The formations in the Valley of the Gods caught the rays of the evening Sun, as the blue shadows gradually climbed up their flanks to finally extinguish the last of the rosy light.  In the gloaming the odd headlight would appear on the distant highway coming from Mexican Hat, hidden from view in the folds of the Earth eleven miles distant.  There was even one that dropped down the continuous curves of the Moki Dugway, a preposterous road that climbs 1700 feet to the top of the mesa bordering the Valley, leading eventually to Natural Bridges National Monument.  Moki Dugway was built years ago to transport uranium ore down to a smelter (now gone), in Mexican Hat.  Looking at those Cliffs, one would not think a road could be built up them, but those pesky highwaymen can do astonishing things when they’ve a mind to.

First view of the Valley of the Gods,
from the Highway.

Monument Valley in silhouette
against the evening sky, from my campsite.

North from camp at evening.

Morning on the Setting Hen Butte & Rooster Rock …
I think the rooster is name more for its proximity to the hen.

Pre-dawn glow,
about 10 minutes before actual sunrise.

First light on the cliffs.
After getting on with some painting today (the days are still too short, but getting longer), I was preparing supper in the twilight, when a movement on the ground caught my eye, startling me.  I jumped, and the little beastie ran off, or I should say, hopped off, as it turned out to be a Kangaroo Rat.  He kept hopping about in my direction several times as if to saying, “come out to play, Steve;” bold little tyke.  I believe he was looking for morsels amongst the stony ground, as he did stop and seemed to find something every so often.  I did get a couple of slightly blurry photos … it was darkening by this time … I should have tried the flash, but I keep forgetting I have that option on this camera.  Supper prepared, I left him to his machinations, while I retired to the truck to eat as the evening was rapidly cooling.  No rat the next night … I wonder if they come out most nights, even at this time of the year?  Probably not.

Blurry shot of Kangaroo Rat.

Ice on the creek.

Further into the Valley.

The prow of Battleship Rock.

Battleship Rock …
it must’ve been named before
the modern cruise liners were built!

New Moon.

The Pigments used in the painting:

Imprimatura: Rublev Ercolano Red;

Drawing: Rublev Ercolano Red;

Pigments: W&N Cerulean, Cobalt & Ultramarine Deep Blues, Cadmiums Yellow Pale and Orange, Venetian Red;

Rublev: Ercolano Red, Purple Ochre, Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre, Orange Molybdate, Lead White #2.

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