The Grand Canyon
277 river miles (446km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide, and a mile (1.6km) deep
- According to the National Park's website.
This vast canyon is essentially a big hole in the ground. But, of course there is so much more to this beautiful canyon. Anyone who has visited knows there are more secrets to the canyon than what is seen or understood on the surface. Truthfully, it can only be seen to truly appreciate or understand exactly how big this place is... It is impossible to see all of it in a day - although I've heard stories about people hiking from rim to rim in 12 hours. I haven't done that. But I have white watered rafted down the Colorado inside the Canyon, and visited the South rim more than a few times.
Since living in Arizona, I usually visit the Grand Canyon in the winter. Not really intentionally, but I suppose there are less tourists, and there is something beautiful about seeing snow at the canyon:
But, if you have friends and family in town, you make it to the Grand Canyon. Even if it takes three hours to get there! I had a friend visit for a couple days, so we took a road trip up there to see what it was like on a nice April Spring day.
And of course, I tried some 'en plein aire.'
I used to love painting landscapes outside - At least I thought I did. When I would go outside with my little box of watercolors (or big box of acrylics,) I would find myself drawn to painting the smallest thing about the entire landscape. A bird, or a tree, or a flower. I would forget to capture the "big" story, and focus on this little thing in front of me. Luckily, I would take hundreds (and hundreds) of photos for reference when I made big abstractions in my studio. But, as an 'en plein aire' artist, it wasn't the big landscape that inspired me, it was the simple story unfolding next to me. So even at the Grand Canyon - quite arguably one of the most beautiful places on earth - I still found myself drawn to a simple Juniper tree. I don't think it was simple though - rather, with its twisted bare branches and moss green foliage, I think it was a story worth recording.
Sometimes it is what is right in front of you that is the story worth telling.