The Waterpocket Fold

The landscape of Capitol Reef Park is all about the backdrop of layered red rock that runs south for 100 miles, and I can’t describe it better than the tourist brochure. “A giant buckle in Earth’s crust stretches across south-central Utah. This vast warping of rock, created 65 million years ago by the same great forces later uplifting the Colorado Plateau is called the Waterpocket Fold.”
I painted two half sheets today — one of an iconic section of soaring spires called The Castle which I will post when it’s done — and this panoramic view done from, believe it or not, Panorama Point. Painting today was a challenge but not for the same reasons as yesterday. Both morning and afternoon sessions were halted due to rain and high winds. With these big Utah skies you can see the rain coming from a distance but you never know if the dark clouds will move off or rain where you are standing. In both instances I had parked close-by so was able to grab the painting and run.
I also wanted to thank everyone who commented yesterday. All your encouragement is much appreciated and although I try to respond promptly, the internet is very spotty here. One minute I’m on and the next I get booted off so even posting is a challenge.


28 Comments on “The Waterpocket Fold”

  1. You really captured the desert light on the rocks.


  2. Elaine Archambault says:

    Never been there bu know people who have and showed me photos and DVD your paintings are wonderful, makes me travel. Enjoy….


  3. Missy Walsh-Smith says:

    Wow! It’s such a joy to see your Utah paintings, Shari! Beautiful! It looks like you have the perfect palette! Good luck with the weather!!


  4. joreimer says:

    So beautiful, Shari. We visited the area a few years ago and I wished I had the ability to paint these formations whic you do so well.


  5. W. Bissky says:

    Wow, what a challenge with such a single dominant colour in the rust. Once again though you handle it with ease. There’s no sign you are under pressure . Calm, cool, Canuck I guess.


  6. bissky says:

    Shari, how challenging do you find it to to work with a single dominant colour in that rust? It looks effortless but I know it’s not. Also, there’s no sign of your being any pressure here to produce. Calm, cool, Canuck I guess… Hope your having fun.


    • It is very hard to have this kind of dominant colour. Capturing the colours of the rocks was the hardest thing for me. It takes time to wrap your head around it. I wasn’t a calm, cool Canuck in the Utah desert though. On the last day the temperature in Zion was near 100°!


  7. sue says:

    Very nice!


  8. Tim Mancusi says:

    How you do this every day amazes me.


  9. kipps74 says:

    You have certainly nailed it! Wonderful palette of colour and so well executed!


  10. Shari
    keep posting! I know thats the most difficult, there aren’t always the best wifi and to put a drawing in the the blog, then writing… personally I had a hard time with this when I was in Shanghai las july…
    About your drawing, I like it. I have always seen this landscapes on photos, and now we can see a perspective “plus douce”!
    This is my message for you from here in France !

    Keep posting for us, thank you!


  11. Wow. Love the way you’ve dealt with depth of field………………


  12. SusanA says:

    Your paintings feel a bit different lately. Perhaps the influence of the workshop? I love the work you’re doing! The colors and landscape you’ve captured here are gorgeous!


  13. Rene Manning says:

    Precioso trabajo, me gusta mucho pintar el gran cañon. Esto es precioso! Felicidades.


  14. Zoe says:



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