The Court of the Patriarchs in Zion National Park provided ideal subject matter for a day of painting outdoors. Artist Alice Robinson enjoyed painting from her perch on a fallen log. 

Our second day of the plein air workshop featured some serious outdoor painting in one of nature’s most spectacular locations – Zion National Park.
     We carpooled from St. George, arriving at Zion Park by 9:30am. The day was perfect with a light cool breeze and big fluffy clouds drifting across the landscape. We boarded the wonderful shuttle and started up Zion Canyon, getting off at the Court of the Patriarchs. A short walk took us to one of my favorite spots along the Virgin River, where a series of wide waterfalls interrupt the slow, steady flow of the meandering river. Above us, stood the massive peaks of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, named for the Bible prophets. The roar of the falls created perfect background music while we painted. I first did a demonstration painting of “Mount Moroni” with its sharp jagged peaks and pointed out how value, temperature, and detail are affected by the direction of the sun on the surfaces.
     By noon we had enough work completed for a friendly critique and art show as we lined our paintings up along side a fallen tree trunk. It was exciting to see the different interpretations. We boarded the shuttle back to our cars and drove in to Springdale for lunch. The afternoon was spent visiting the LaFave Gallery and painting from their park-like grounds. Our subject matter there ranged from large rocks and cactus clusters, to the big cliffs above, to an old panel truck which sits rusting on the premises. By the time our second day ended, we had a healthy body of work under our belts and a greater understanding of the challenges and rewards of plein air painting!

Dixie Stoddard and Margo Cook paint along the Virgin River

Mark Rose is a veteran outdoor painter who came all the way from Idaho to take the Roland Lee workshop

Connie Madsen hurries to bring her masterpiece to our outdoor critique as we lined paintings up along a fallen tree trunk

Painting from the park-like grounds of the LaFave Gallery in Springdale Utah at the mouth of Zion National Park

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