Kane Ranch Residency

Watercolor painting by Suze Woolf
Kane Ranch from the south, 11"x15" $350 unframed

Watercolor painting by Suze Woolf
Kane Ranch back door, 11"x15" $350 unframed

Suze Woolf watercolor painting
Glen Canyon Light, 30"x22" $1500 unframed

Suze Woolf watercolor painting
Looking South from Buck Farm Wash, 30"x22 SOLD

Suze Woolf watercolor painting
Vermilion Cliffs from the Spencer Trail, 22"x30" $1500 unframed

Suze Woolf watercolor painting plein air
Shinumo Butte, Day Twenty-One, 11"x15" $350 unframed

Suze Woolf watercolor painting
Kane Ranch Sunrise 11"x15" $350 unframed

Suze Woolf watercolor painting
The Slot below The Wave, 11"x15" $350 unframed

Painting Details


All watercolor on 140 lb paper

Ten of the 40-some paintings completed during and after my 2014 inaugural residency for the Grand Canyon Trust at their Kane Ranch property in the House Rock Valley of Arizona. All were drawn on location but some finished later, particularly the larger studio pieces based on small sketches done there. This was the most isolated residency I've done yet! You can see my comments on the experience here:

  • A Teachable Moment for the Teacher

    Mon, 03 Nov 2014 15:42:11 GMT by Suze Woolf

    October 31- Nov 2

    I had a wonderful group of friendly, curious, eager Grand Canyon Trust members who came out to Kane Ranch for a watercolor workshop at the end of my stay there. Many teachers’ valuable voices ring in my head, so I made it my goal to do the same for these folks.

    “What is ‘The What?’” (Thanks Cathy Gill). Or as I now put it, “why is should this be a painting and not a photograph? What is it I am bringing to it?”

    We did a color intermixing exercise first, and then painted fruits and vegetables. Kate said, “This pepper is voluptuous!” And lo, her painting was rich with passionate color, and bright with reserved whites of the paper.

    “Put it down and leave it alone.”

    “Nature doesn’t come out of the end of a tube.” That is, most pigments for color in the landscape need to be modified — greyed or softened — for one reason or another.

    “Beautiful Paint” (Thanks, Tom Hoffmann and Jonelle Johnson)

    “You can lie.” (Thanks, Spike Ress). That is, YOU are the master of the picture, you are not a slave to reality. If the tent looks better closer to Saddle Mountain than it is, make it so.

    “Perfection is not my goal. Let it go.” My friend Kate Barber exemplifies this philosophy of painting. Many of us want to learn this in life as well as painting!

    “Br-r-rush Str-o-u-kes” (Thanks Alvaro Castagnet. You have to imagine the mix of Uruguayan and Australian accents.)

    The real revelation for me was how much my own painting improved while I was giving demos. Repeating these mantras reminded me of everything I know but often lose sight of in the intensity of capturing the scene. I intentionally don’t teach much – life is short and at my age I don’t have a long career ahead of me. I selfishly want to devote as much time as I can to actually painting. But this experience might change my perception!

    Suze Woolf watercolor painting of Kane Ranch, Arizona

    Kane Ranch from the south, watercolor on paper, 11″ x 15″ This early-morning plein air piece turned into a spontaneous demo. It was windy enough that I stood in the lee of the platform tents, and alas, the wind built all day — not ideal for a landscape painting workshop!

    Echo Cliffs Sunrise

    Echo Cliffs Sunrise, watercolor on paper, 11″ x 15″. We spent a lot of time observing the cloud formations, figuring out how to convey them without rendering them literally. (Always difficult, since they change so fast around House Rock Valley!)


    806
    Read MoreClose This Post
  • A Lone Woolf

    Mon, 03 Nov 2014 15:29:52 GMT by Suze Woolf

    October 30

    My friend Wendy The Frog Biologist send me news of a lone wolf sighted in the Grand Canyon. I feel some kinship but as yet my canines haven’t extended ; – )

    I am in a war with rodentia. They own the territory and I’m the one that’s out of place.


    802
    Read MoreClose This Post
  • Driving

    Mon, 03 Nov 2014 15:19:51 GMT by Suze Woolf

    October 25

    One of the hazards of this area is the sharp Kaibab limestone rocks on the back roads. I fear for my tires. I heard from the owner of Willow Canyon (the oh-so welcoming espresso stand/bookstore/gear emporium in Kanab UT) that the GC backcountry rangers assume 2 flats within 10,000 miles, and 4 by 20,000. (I might have the numbers wrong but you get the idea.) With only one spare I was apprehensive on every drive. So there were a number of places where I gave up and turned around.

    But I made it to the Triple Alcove, East Rim and some of the Buck Farm Wash overlooks. It was an emotional moment to stand above the places I’d been in 2010 and look down on The River. Once  through a cleft I saw a raft working its way downstream and I wondered if they could distinguish a watcher on the rim.

    Photograph of Suze Woolf painting of the Grand Canyon

    Looking south from Buck Farm Wash, watercolor on paper, 15″ x 11″ (and already sold ; – )

    And in the Folly-of-Man category I saw the remnant enormous eye-bolts used in preliminary tests for the Marble Canyon dam that was, thankfully, never built. This was the battle that brought David Brower to national prominence (cf. Encounters with the Archdruid). I hope that we will do as well with the Trust’s issues of our day – grazing, public lands policy, threats to the watershed, and alas, many others.


    795
    Read MoreClose This Post
  • The Wave and Beyond

    Mon, 27 Oct 2014 18:32:57 GMT by Suze Woolf

    October 24

    My hosts included me on a special-permit trip into the famous Wave formation on North Coyote Buttes. So I made my pilgrimage to that celebrated spot in the company of 3 botanists on a mapping/collecting mission. Normally it requires a reservation long in advance or a win in the previous day’s lottery to be one of the 20 people allowed in daily.

    It is indeed a world-class spot—but there are so many spots even in the immediate vicinity. From The Wave we climbed up to the top of the butte to view “The Alcove,” – a wind-scooped, semi-circular, light-bounced, fluted cave with its own resident sand dune; then we went along to “Melody Arch,” – really two arches with a picture window out to the north-east. Along the way we traversed ponds full of primitive life, dried waterpockets with oceans of tiny moki marbles (spherical ironstone concretions), gnarled weathered sandstone looking like crumpled paper, and finally a short, purple, slot canyon exit.

    A long day: as near as I can tell, botany is as good a rationale for wandering around looking at stuff as geology or painting ; – )

    The three botanists wayfinding across Coyote Buttes

    The three botanists wayfinding across Coyote Buttes

    Portrait of Suze Woolf in Utah canyon, "The Wave"

    The usual Wave photo

    Trilobite descendent? About 1/2 to 1-inch long...

    Trilobite descendent? About 1/2 to 1-inch long…

    Sand Cove Slot - a short canyon in the wash below the Wave

    Sand Cove Slot – a short canyon in the wash below the Wave, watercolor on paper 11″ x 15″


    792
    Read MoreClose This Post
  • Glen Canyon

    Mon, 27 Oct 2014 18:27:10 GMT by Suze Woolf

    October 22

    I join friends for a boat ride upriver. I fill my entire camera card with photos. It was like a mini-Grand Canyon raft trip, similar spectacular scenery but louder and without all the sand in your food. Ospreys and herons every quarter-mile. However it is well-beloved of fishermen and duck hunters; unlike the Grand Canyon solitude is unlikely. And it was bizarre to round the last corner and see the dam. Also strange to see the Colorado so clear and green: because it’s coming out of the bottom of Lake Powell it lacks the silt and sediment of its enormous watershed. I am reading Tim Egan’s Lasso the Wind; he reminds me of the great irony of the lake behind it named for John Wesley Powell, who argued for climate-appropriate development in the arid southwest and failed.

    Photo of Glen Canyon Dam from the Colorado River

    Glen Canyon Dam from the Colorado River

     

    45-minute sketch of a buttress in Glenn Canyon

    45-minute sketch of a buttress in Glenn Canyon

    Suze Woolf painting in Glen Canyon AZ

    Painting on the beach in Glen Canyon

     


    788
    Read More

And here are stories written by some of the participants in the workshop I gave for the Trust:

"Watercolor Applied to Life and Land"

"My RV -- A Mobile Art Studio"