Thursday, December 31, 2015

Friday, December 25, 2015

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Monday, December 14, 2015

On Submarine Rock


In this foreshortened view of Submarine Rock, looking toward west Sedona and Coffee Pot Rock, that pinky-orange color known as "Sedona Red" got lost.  Tough to capture, camera and watercolors tend to go too far in either direction, between red and yellow. As for the foreshortening itself, to get a sense of scale, imagine the greenery on the rock to be the height of an average human.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Broken Arrow Trail


The Broken Arrow Trail is heavily traveled and parallels a jeep road out to Submarine Rock and Chicken Point. The popularity of this route is deserved, given the continuous scenic views interspersed with intimate passages through the forest. This is the second Sedona scene from my Arizona travel sketchbook.


Friday, December 11, 2015

Bell Rock Loop at Sunset


After four days of hiking, scenes from Sedona are beginning to make their appearance in my Arizona travel sketchbook. In this view at sunset, the foot traffic around Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte have been chased away as blue shadows pool across the flats and begin to flood the high ground.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

North from the Fortress



A watercolor sketch of the view looking north from the highest point on Elephant Mountain Trail, Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area, Cave Creek, Arizona.


Elephant Mountain North


Climbing the trail up the north side of Elephant Mountain, the trunk being the peak in the upper right corner, this is yet another page out of the travel sketchbook. 

Desert foothill hiking on overcast days is very comfortable, but the real treat is when sun breaks through the clouds* sending patches of light that scan across Earth's contours, as if an almighty being were seeking something with its celestial flashlight.


*"Sun Through Clouds" piano instrumental by Matthew Morgan - thank you for the inspiration.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Desert Broomrape


This travel sketch is from a February 2014 hike in the Spur Cross Ranch where Cooper's broomrape was found peeking out of the rocks along the trail. The four variations of Desert broomrape are all leafless, parasitic plants that live on the roots of native flora and are sometimes known by the more descriptive name of "burroweed strangler".



Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Traveling Sketches from Arizona

Thanksgiving in Arizona, spending time with family and hiking in the foothills carrying camera, sketchbook, pencil, and watercolors. The first page of the book is a view of Spur Cross Road, traveling north into the foothills, where conservation groups and land trusts have managed to preserve some of the best hiking trails in the Phoenix area.