Hurricane, Utah

Today is my birthday.  I'm forty-four years old.  

As a nice little service, Shutterfly sends photo albums of what you were doing three years ago this week and reminded me of some great shots I got of southwest landscapes near Zion National Park.

My buddy, Jenny, and I both have birthdays in April, and that particular year, we decided to meet up in Las Vegas, and drive to Zion to celebrate our many combined years.

I've wanted to paint the photo below for a long time but never had the nerve to try.  But today I woke up with an abundance of nerve, and honestly feeling quite blessed at the years I've been granted, wanting to attack life for the next forty years instead of simply living.  Not that I'm discontent with my lot.  Quite the opposite.  I just want to have many more great photos of beautiful people (my family) and places (near and far) delivered to my inbox, reminding me of the rich life I've been granted (but could never deserve).

This is Hurricane, Utah.  I'm putting down the underpainting today on a 20x20 canvas and hope to at least get it sketched out and somewhat shaped in by the time the bus gets here with my lovies on it.

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Inspiration photo (above) that I took from the back of a rickety (but dirty and awesome!) old Jeep with my Nikon.

 Prepped canvas (yes, I do like lilac...)

Prepped canvas (yes, I do like lilac...)

 My sketch -  I really enjoy the free hand sketching which allows for changes here and there to accommodate the shape of my photo vs. my square canvas.

My sketch -  I really enjoy the free hand sketching which allows for changes here and there to accommodate the shape of my photo vs. my square canvas.

 Two hours later!  Woo Hoo!!!!

Two hours later!  Woo Hoo!!!!

 Here's where I stopped today...

Here's where I stopped today...

I'm planning to do a bunch more tomorrow after this is dry.  Painting wet on wet doesn't allow super crisp edges, which I plan to use on this piece in order to create some really nice definition.

I really LOVE southwest Utah and we'll be taking the kiddos in a few months to see all this beautiful terra in person.  I'm pretty excited about that and so are they.  We love to hike and our youngest is finally big enough not to be carried around in the backpack all day.

Thank you for stopping in to see my work today.  I've been very bad about posting lately and I'm sorry.  Too much to do.  I was actually pondering what my days will look like in about thirteen years.  Of course, all that quiet won't be nearly as inspiring as all the young, vibrant, and endless energy my little ones have that keeps me entertained.  If I wasn't such an old dog, I'd have another one.  I've never been as creative as when we're adding to our brood.  

See you tomorrow.