Singing in the rain. Karen Bettilyon, Julie Strong, and Sally Valiton duck for cover during the Roland Lee watercolor painting workshop
Abraham and Isaac poke their heads into the clouds as rain begins to fall in Zion National Park.

We had great fun the past two days in my fall plein air watercolor workshop. Awesome painters, and amazing weather kept us on our toes, as we scrambled for umbrellas and cover. We generally don’t get too much rain in this part of the desert, but we received a fair amount today and yesterday which will enhance an already healthy wildflower crop.

Connie Madsen at work in Snow Canyon. View through a sandstone keyhole.
Mark Gamett, from Las Vegas Nevada, with his Strada Easel setup purchased at the Monterey Plein Air Convention last month.
Julie Strong from Canada was smart enough to bring an umbrella to protect her wonderful sketchbook studies
Steve Cherry was well equipped for outdoor painting. His sketchbook studies were awesome.

Thursday we got in a sketching stop at the Pioneer Park desert reserve above St. George, then spent the afternoon painting in Snow Canyon, tucked up against the red rocks.  Everyone got right to work as the wind began to howl, and the rain clouds moved in. Most of us made good progress on our paintings in spite of a few rain showers.

Mark Rose, from Idaho works on a value study in his sketchbook prior to starting  a watercolor painting in Snow Canyon State Park. He is using a Sienna pochade paint box.
Sally Valiton from Ridgecrest California pulls a hood over hear head but keeps on working as rain begins. She is using a Sienna Pochade Box and easel.

With dark clouds hovering and a prediction of rain, we drove to Zion National Park hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst. We set up our easels near the falls at Court of the Patriarchs. The clouds broke just long enough to whet our appetites as we quickly dove into our paintings. Umbrellas and parkas came out as the rains began, but we scurried for cover under big cotton wood trees when giant hail stones began to pelt us. We hung around like stalwart pioneers as the weather got colder and we got wetter. Finally we gave in to a warm lunch at the Zion lodge, followed by a stopover at the marvelous Lafave Gallery in Springdale. We finished the day painting back in the studio, tired and happy.

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