Friday, August 15, 2008

Canyon Drawing


Halfway up Negro Bill Canyon. Immediately off Utah 128, which runs along the Colorado River and ends north of Moab. Yes, "Negro Bill Canyon" is the actual geographic name of the place, which apparently was once worse. Named after a William Granstaff, who settled in this canyon in 1877. Smart man: despite the desert conditions, it has a babbling brook running right through it, but also generous amounts of poison ivy, which I managed to avoid. At the end of the canyon you can climb up to find Morning Glory Bridge, a huge rock span of 240+ feet. I did not get that far, only because I decided to stop and make a quick drawing before the light ran out for the hike back. Rough pencil onsite, color applied in gouache later. Kind of nutty to sink this much work into a sketchbook drawing, but somehow I like that. The book is becoming crinkly and difficult to close.

2 comments:

Bob Flynn said...

You may have killed your sketchbook, but it's well worth it. Great colors (i'm sure the real deal was incredibly inspirational). It's strangely organic and flat at the same time. Oh, and the moon in the corner—nice touch of detail.

DB Dowd said...

Thanks, Bob. Your observation about its mix of flatness and depth is correct--something about that bugs me a little. I actually sort of want it to more flat. I am thinking about re-executing it in 3 or 4 colors tops, and taking it in a little more abstract direction. Ultimately I'm more interested in graphic structure than I am in a sense of immanence or "being there." An intriguing subject--so impressive, it makes you want to draw it, and you can lose yourself a little, which I think happened here, though in an instructive way.