Last week I was in Las Vegas, tagged along at a conference. Not really a gambler. I spent the days painting in the desert and the evenings eating conference appetizers and drinking seemingly unlimited quantities of white wine.
One last painting from Red Rocks- I’m pretty sure there are no other half-completes in the stack.
I tagged along to an IT conference in Las Vegas last summer, and had a confused time getting out to Red Rocks Canyon due to my tendency to drive in giant circles while taking wrong turn after wrong turn.
So I’d hoped to do more paintings of the desert on location than I managed to. This is a studio piece that’s been trying to get finished for the past five or six months. Fox Canyon? Wildsomething Canyon? I can’t remember what this pocket canyon was called, but I would have loved to explore it more than I did before the sun went down.
One more small studio painting of Red Rocks, outside Las Vegas.
Such a beautiful place, Red Rocks outside Las Vegas, Nevada.
Though you can’t actually see the red rocks in this piece, maybe I shouldn’t have called it that. This is from the Red Rocks national conservation area, though, which is a very beautiful place.
This is the 3rd of 3 plein air paintings from Red Rocks, in the desert outside Las Vegas, Nevada. Those rocks really are red!
A plein air painting from Red Rock national conservation area in Las Vegas, Nevada.
I planned to go at dawn.
I would paint glorious desert sunrises. I left the hotel at 6:15. It was only 20 minutes to Red Rocks.
I then got hopelessly lost. But hope is an anchor, and I did not give up.
Those of you who’ve known me for a while are familiar with the drill. The night before, I carefully copied down directions to and from my hotel. I sent maps to my phone. I double checked everything. I drove out of the parking garage, took one wrong turn, and proceeded to drive all the way around the city on the beltway.
Eventually, I did find the right road, so I exited 215 and drove out into the desert. I was rejoicing- but I rejoiced too soon. The road dead-ended in a half-built subdivision.
Turned out I was still on the opposite side of town from Red Rocks. So I executed a 3 point turn and drove straight across the city for about 20 miles, or 40 miles, or however far it was, and arrived at Red Rocks around 2 PM. Red Rocks was stunningly beautiful so I think it was worth it.
The day was wonderfully mild- not 105 as I had feared, and I was able to work on several paintings. Here’s the first one.
The view from our 51st floor balcony at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas. Another plein air piece- I didn’t touch it up and just left it rough. I like it this way.
Painting in Vegas
Leaving Vegas at the crack of dawn, laden with heavy, heavy painting stuff. Shephard Fairey mural in the parking garage of the hotel.