The Colors of the Desert

Posted by on Aug 21, 2014 in Visual Inspiration | 3 comments

Two weeks ago I had a road adventure, driving from my home in Colorado to Phoenix, Arizona and back. The trip was centered around teaching in Arizona at Art Unraveled, but also an excuse to see some desert wonders along the way.

The first part of the trip, the first 6 hours or so, was driving in thunder and rainstorms through the middle of Colorado. The good news about this is that when I finally arrived at Arches National Park, the storm was painting the sky to the east. It was a glorious backdrop.



There was lightening, and I caught it in my pictures three times. The sound was so much closer than the actual lightening. CRACK!


I fell in love with orange and indigo years ago when as a teen I discovered the art of Maxfield Parrish, and on this day I was enveloped in the real deal.


The rain came. It started out light and then just opened up. I had to run for cover, it was a deluge.

IMG_1035When the rain stopped, the desert was full of rivers and waterfalls. Just like that, one wild hour of rain and the water ran down all the hills and valleys.

The next day was glorious.


Here is the palette for this desert today. A bit 60s, don’t you think?



I hiked to Landscape Arch. This arch is huge and a few years ago the part to the right fell down and made it huger. Lots of people were under it when this happened, so now you have to stay behind a fence to see it from a ways away. IMG_1074After two days of hiking around I had to head out. I was sorry to go.




About 53 miles south of Moab you can take a small road to see Newspaper Rock. This rock is covered with petroglyphs from many tribes of people, over the last 2,000 years.

It is a spectacular display of recognizable and abstracted figures, animals and stories, hence the name.


One has to wonder when the contributors converted to taggers, or vandals. I mean, it was okay to add to this until someone said enough already and now it is a crime. Don’t do it, but appreciate that so many people did.IMG_3133It thrills me to be standing in front of this layered canvas of stories that so many people added to. I could stand here all day.
I left this grand place and headed to Monument Valley, which ironically was closed. To be continued…..


  1. Glad you got home safe. It seems that the rains have not stopped since we left! Thanks for the scenes of your trip. We went to Sedona after class and my husband joined me. Absolutely Magical. Glad we met and shared Chris’ class together.

    • Hi Beth! It was nice to be with you in Chris’ class and nice to see you here!

  2. I’d be standing right there with you . . . stunning!

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