Sunday, October 30, 2011

An Afternoon at the Grand Canyon

We spent the day (Saturday, Oct 29th) traveling with friends to Sedona, Oak Creek, and to the Grand Canyon. Here are a couple pics from the gorgeous sunset from Mather Point.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

West Fork of Oak Creek

I thought Monday would be a great day to miss the crowds at West Fork. Was I ever wrong! I did not get there bright and early, but still, I figured at 10am, there would be a parking spot for me. My first clue was that Sedona itself was hopping with tourists with many out of state cars. I saw someone taking a picture while driving, another with his arm through the sunroof, and cars pulling off to the shoulder to see a view I would consider "okay." The best views of Sedona are those you get by hiking, getting away from homes and cars. Today, I was forced to park a half mile up the road to get into West Fork, hauling two tripods, a paint box, a camera, lunch, water/vitamin water, and other painting gear. I had a spot in mind where I wanted to paint away from the trail and up against a cliff wall. The air was noticeably cold there and once in a while a breeze would blow warm air my way. I was not prepared for cold weather and quickly completed a palette knife study. Not to mention the 120 photos I took along the way. I noticed many elderly folk on the trail and on the way back, a woman had slipped and fallen at the second creek crossing. Paramedics had here stablilized, I heard that she had a possible broken hip. Sad! West Fork is amazing and many seek it's treasures. I think I found a few:

spirals in nature

almost done

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fossil Creek in October

Denise and I decided to try Fossil Creek in October again. Last year was pleasant during the same time of the month to enjoy Fossil Creek. However, just the week before, we experienced winter-like weather and would not have been a good time to swim at Fossil Creek. For this trip, the weather was warm, a little hot in the sun, yet perfect conditions for cooling off in the fresh, clear waters. Fall colors were beginning and created vibrant reflections in the water. We hiked down mid-morning from the trailhead, 4 miles to the springs, and a little further to find a place to hang out for lunch. We swam, rested, hiked some more, swam at the waterfall, sampled a rope swing, photographed, and headed back up by 5:00 to enjoy the cooler evening temps while hiking back up. A tiring trip and well worth it. I must gripe about seeing trash and abandoned hiking gear. We hauled up extra trash when we could, but the hiking gear would be most difficult with our small packs. I am anxious to see how the authorities choose to manage this area. I am for a permit system. A limited number of permits would be issued any given day to limit use and the money would finance maintenence and pay a Ranger to patrol the trail and camp areas. I dislike seeing trash at Fossil. I didn't photopraph trash, so here my my favs from the trip:

Saturday, October 15, 2011


I was browsing through some of my older drawings and came across this portrait from 2004. My High School art teacher, Mr. Murphy, told me that each art piece is a self-portrait because it is a reflection or expression of the artist (I graduated from HS in 1999). This may not look exactly like me, but I consider it a self-portrait. Flashback!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Searching for Fall colors in Flagstaff

Every year, at about this time of the month, the aspen trees change to golden yellow. I thought this year would be unique after the San Francisco Peaks received a few inches of snow paired up with the golden aspen leaves. However, most of the apsen trees were still green or changing to a brown yellow. It was still a great trip and we found hidden pockets of color as we hiked around. Here are my fav pics from the day.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A couple more mini's

Here are two more 5x7 oil paintings to be exhibited at the Frame & I Art Gallery for a miniature show during the months of November and December. These were both done with a palette knife. This will be a great show!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Recent oil, "Breath of Summer"

This 12x16 inch oil painting, is of a scene engraved in my mind of the lush forests at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. This was seen/experienced along the Transcept Trail and I love the play of light on the aspen trees and pine branches.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New oil painting!

This oil painting was completed during the Best Fest, September 17th. I set up my easel to demonstrate oil painting on the sidewalk in front of the Frame & I and assembled a table of my paintings to show off. I hoped to catch the attention of the many thousands of people walking downtown for AZ's centenniel celebration. I was able to stop a few people in their tracks and had a few interested folks. Ladies and gentlemen, I present another palette knife oil painting by Russell Johnson, 11x 14 inches, "Monsoon Sunset from the North Rim."

More Autumn Colors, South of Prescott

I couldn't get enough of the Fall colors I saw on Sunday south of Prescott. So, today, I drove to the same spot for afternoon lighting and a closer look at the scenery. It was overcast but the colors still appeared vibrant. It is worth the 15 minute drive south of Prescott to enjoy the colors of the season.