Saturday, April 30, 2011
Colorado National Monument...
The Colorado National Monument celebrates it's 100 year anniversary this summer. The Monument (possibly soon to be a National Park) is in our valley's 'backyard,' on the western end of the valley. It is a beautiful place! The Blue Pig Gallery is doing its part for the birthday celebration by hosting a special Monument exhibit in May, the birthday month. This is the painting I have done for the exhibit. I didn't want to do a landscape, as Monument landscapes are quite common here. So this is to be called "View From the Monument." It is of a yellow-headed collared lizard, looking over the valley toward the Grand Mesa, at the east end of the valley.
When my sons were young, the best part of a Monument hike was seeing the lizards (and occasionally catching one, then letting it loose.) They are fast, and reminiscent of the dinosaurs that lived here in our valley long ago. They skitter across your path in abundance on a hot summer day.
The painting is 11x14" and is oil on canvas.
A number of years ago I did a tapestry of the Monument. It is 31"x26", and it sold long before I was really ready to let it go. It is called "Grand Valley Starry Night," and is, obviously, a tribute to Van Gogh, in addition to being a tribute to our valley. I wove it when my youngest son was taking a humanities class in high school, in which Lust for Life was required reading. At that time, we would go to the Monument to get away from city lights to watch the comets: Halley's, Hale-Bopp and Hyakutake. So this tapestry was also about our family time, sharing the wonders of the night sky. In the tapestry you can see three of the big landscape elements of the valley: Independence Monument towers in the foreground, with Mt. Garfield to its left and the Grand Mesa in the background right. These three large mountain formations define and oversee our valley. The orange/yellow spots between the monument and the mesa represent the city lights on the valley floor, and the green 'mound' shapes beyond that represent the orchards and vineyards at the east end of the valley.