This past week I’ve been working on the second large painting for the new Washington County Library. this one will go in the Children’s Library area. I wanted to depict the history of the area, showing a couple of young people opening a book to learn about the past as they look to the future.
In the first sketch I planned for an 8 foot painting and included a dinosaur, the Native Peoples, the Pioneers, and Space Shuttle.
When I visited the spot in the library where the painting is going to be placed I decided to reduce the width of the painting to 6 feet. I zeroed in on a few specifics and added red cliffs in the background to show the unique geology of the area. Now I’ve got the design worked out and feel pretty comfortable with it.
I started by mounting Claessons Belgian Linen to hardboard then sketched up the drawing using a prismacolor pencil. With my drawing and reference photos taped to the canvas, I started working on the children’s faces before moving on to some of the other elements.
The history of southern Utah is filled with fantastic subjects. On the left are two southern Paiutes, representing the indigenous peoples who lived here first. Behind them is a covered wagon used by early Mormon Pioneer settlers. The red sandstone cliffs of Zion Canyon rise up in the background to show the incredible and unique geology found here. The Allosaurus was one of the fiercest meat-eating dinosaurs who once tromped through Utah, and is now the State Fossil of Utah. Finally a space shuttle launch brings us into the present and future through space exploration.