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TitlePainting the American Scene in Watercolor
TagsWatercolor Painting Appalachian Mountains Paintings Trees Glacier
File Size21.1 MB
Total Pages164
Document Text Contents
Page 82


While watching the last rays of the setting sun

winding and twisting their way up the colorful rock

walls of the "Three Patriarchs" formation at Zion

Canyon, I met a family from the Netherlands who

were seeing the natural wonders of the United States

for the first time. They already had seen the Teton

and Yellowstone country, Monument Valley, and the

Yosemite, Bryce, and Grand canyons. Their hobby

was mountain climbing, and they had climbed many

of Europe's mountains, including the Matterhom,

but they were enthusiastic about the spectacular

scenery of the United States.

Looking at the sheer walls of Zion Canyon, a lav-

ish display of colored cliffs, some a half-mile in

height, it was hard for me to imagine any scenic

grandeur to surpass it. Time and erosion have ex-

posed the remains of a great desert that has been

solidified into multicolored Navajo sandstone which

glows like red fire in the deep narrow canyon of

Zion. This dramatic backdrop of varicolored rock

was the inspiration for "Giants."

The only way to approach a dramatic subject like

Zion Canyon is with broad, sweeping strokes, and

strong contrasts of values. In making the preliminary

study for "Giants," intense dark values were used

for the vibrant reds and light values for the soft grays

of the upper planes. Slashing strokes indicated the

direction of the rock strata. The composition was

designed to carry the eye upward to the tree-capped

escarpment of white rock at the very top.


Page 83

Preliminary study for "Giants.'


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