The Virgin River at Zion National Park

This is a scene overlooking the Virgin River at Zion National Park in Utah. My wife and I were on a tour of several of our western national parks a few years ago. We only spent a few hours driving through with a couple quick stops for photographs. Even though the time was short and quick, we still were able to absorb the breathtaking scenery. At one stop we saw this! I always kept in my mind this view for a future painting. I wanted to capture the overall feeling and integrity of the scene, but did not want it to be ordinary. In recent work, I have been incorporating arbitrary, pattern-like mark making that not only energizes the surface, but also creates interest independent of the subject. I still rendered the qualities that we love about landscape, spatial depth and atmospheric perspective, but also wanted to connect to those looking for more.