|"Canyon!" acrylic on stretched canvas ©Mary Montague Sikes|
As I studied the painting I hadn't viewed for a long while, I thought about the thousands of artists and writers who've been immensely inspired by this glorious and unique place. So many paintings. Artists working en plein air. Writers imagining what might happen if one of those folks posing on the canyon's edge might slip, might be pushed to their deaths far below. I wonder at the daring of the tightrope walker crossing a piece of the canyon.
Starting when our two oldest daughters were very young, we've visited the Grand Canyon many times. I worried then as they played near the canyon's edge. I always love the view from the spacious dining room of the El Tovar where one can watch the changing colors of light playing across the canyon walls.
In this painting, I used my imagination with many of the colors I chose, but I love the effect that resulted. Hidden away in archival drawers, I suspect I have some long-forgotten pastel drawings of the canyon. Color slides taken along roads and trails lie concealed inside carousel trays awaiting a show with the projector. I hope they will keep a few more years.
Our last visit to the Grand Canyon came last November. Already, the artist and the writer in me is longing to return.