Delicate Arch

Today’s painting day started with rain and ended with rain. In the middle the sun at Arches National Park was blazing hot and that’s when I sketched the iconic Delicate Arch from a viewpoint a distance away. Painting it up close would have involved a three-mile hike of some difficulty on open slickrock, carrying 2 litres of drinking water along with my painting gear (and more water for painting!) The high desert conditions make watercolour difficult. As you can see from my sketch, the water on my brush dried before it hit the paper.
I’ve never seen anything quite like the rock formations in this park. A series of monolithic red sandstone fin formations stand out all over the park. They really need to be seen to be believed because there are no photos or sketches that can do these arches and spires justice. Despite that I keep trying.


10 Comments on “Delicate Arch”

  1. liz bundle says:

    Hope you get to Green River outlook and somewhere nearby there’s a HUGE monolith (a sorta very small Ayer’s Rock) accessed by a narrow rock path…I never made it, the edges curved downwards thus desire to crossover was defeated by fear of heights. As much as anything I loved the complete freedom to fall over the edge anywhere and the sight of toddlers and kids bouncing along narrow trails or riding on dad’s back. Oh and get to Dead Horse Point, at sunset. Such amazing country – and so much of it. I envy you being there!


    • I did paint at Green River outlook, but there are huge monoliths everywhere. I have no way of knowing which one you mean. One place I did not get to was Dead Horse Point. I loved “Thelma and Louise” so it would have been fun to see the place. Next time, I guess.


  2. brooklyn49 says:

    Shari, I estimated a job for the library system here yesterday to do 10 sketches of all the libraries and I thought of you out there in the heat when I tried to factor that into the price as it it just as warm here in the summer. I said “if Shari can do it so can I”, so once again you are my muse! Be well, John


  3. Mark says:

    I’ve noticed in many of your posts that you’re a fan of alizarin crimson. Which brand of this pigment do you use, and are you concerned about lightfastness? I’m very much enjoying going through your posts and paintings by the way. Thanks, Mark.


  4. kipps74 says:

    Bravo! However I detect from your writing that maybe you feel this isn’t quite as good as yesterday’s painting…………maybe too much going on horizontally………..just a thought! Still lovely hues!


  5. Les says:

    Shari, you’ve done a great series of paintings from what I’ve seen so far. We were in those areas in early May and conditions were more amenable to long walks and sketching.

    I like the way you handled the rocks. I tend to get lost in all the rubble and details. 🙂


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