Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Marsh Valley, Superstition Mtns, AZ overniter backpack trip

March 20-21, 2010 overnite backpacking trip into Marsh Valley, Superstition Mountains, AZ with my husband Andy and our dog Nuka Bay. We hiked in about 7-8 miles or so and found a great place to camp near the vicinity of Mt. Malapais in Marsh Valley. We set up camp around two o'clock and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening relaxing and exploring the area.

  Watercolor sketch session alongside LaBarge Creek just a few
steps from our camp.

The view directly in front of me.
 I believe this rocky mountain in front of me to be part of Malapais Mtn.

Purifying water from the creek near our camp

There has been a lot of rainfall this winter and the streambeds were full. The availability of water kept our packs light and offered some great reflections for my compositions as well. (The picture to the left was taken from our campsite.)

    My husband Andy, an experienced outdoorsman, has been frequenting this area for many years. He introduced me to the desert and the Superstition Mtns about four years ago shortly after we met.
As we near the end of March and head into spring the temperatures are climbing steadily. This will probably be our last trip into the Superstition Mtns. this winter.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Gathering Inspiration at Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, AZ

study in my sketchbook for a future painting
"Bunny Ear Prickly Pear Cactus"
Desert Botanical Garden,Phoenix, AZ

Nature is my source of inspiration for my paintings. I enjoy getting out of the studio to connect with nature and gather images  for future paintings. For this study I set up camp in front of some "bunny ear prickly pear cactus" alongside a pathway at the Desert Botanical Gardens.  It took me about two hours to complete this study that will serve as a visual reference and eventually translate into a larger painting on a wooden panel. -Sue Dranchak

Friday, March 12, 2010

APRIL SHOWERS original painting

April Showers 2010

The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak
And you're two months back in the middle of March.
  -Robert Frost.

The time between seasons is a restless period of time. It is often a time of reflection and mental preparation for a change of routine and activity. It often happens  this time of year that just as the blanket of winter snow has receded and redifined the landscape it snows again!  -Sue Dranchak