Observation Point beats Angel’s Landing hands-down. Longer, less steep, greater elevation gain but still exciting drop-offs keep your attention. This trail takes you to the east rim, more expansive views, a different eco-niche, and today at least, nice breezes. Part of the trail goes through a slot canyon that felt very much like the Deer Creek Patios off the Colorado in the Grand Canyon. I painted at the top for about 90 minutes, and stopped many times to photograph lightning-struck burned trees and the many patterns in the rock.
I am definitely having trouble getting into a canyon-painting groove. I can’t seem to find the right colors, I mistake the values as too light in the shade, and there’s so much to see it’s hard to simplify. The heat and ever-present ants don’t help. Knowing that I promised to host open studio time makes me feel under some pressure to perform. There’s a beautiful book of Zion paintings in the house commemorating the park’s centennial — I feel honor-bound to live up to that standard; but lifestyle, environment and working conditions will take some getting used to!
Next time I’m ready to hike to Zion Lodge or the Springdale Library for their wi-fi, I will post some photos of work in progress.