red rocks of sedona

May 31, 2013

I recently flew to Arizona to visit a dear friend.  Over the weekend, we explored the natural wonders of Sedona.  Our first stop was the famous landmark, Cathedral Rock.  With its towering red rock and picturesque creek,  I can see why photography enthusiasts flock to this place.

The site also attracts folks seeking a vortex experience.  Sedona boasts four major vortexes- places of concentrated and mystical energy.  Curious, my friend and I tried to find the vortex at Cathedral Rock. We were told to look for twisted juniper trees as a sign, but the nearly nude, bearded man sprawled out on the ground was a dead giveaway. 

We visited two vortex sites that day, but neither of us felt anything out of the ordinary.  Our time in historic Jerome, Arizona (known for its paranormal activities) was uneventful as well.  I'm thinking my cynicism may have interfered with some potentially incredible moments. 

On our first night in Sedona, we watched the sunset from the town's highest viewpoint. And it was truly memorable.  To the east of us, massive cliff walls lit up in an intense orange glow.  To the west, we were mesmerized by the desert sun dipping below the horizon. 

The highlight of my weekend was the West Fork Oak Creek Trail, located ten miles north of Sedona. The trail travels alongside a creek flanked by red and pink sandstone walls.  Although this was my first visit to the stunning canyon, there was a familiarity about it.  When coming upon scenes that reminded me of a recent painting, Canyon River, it became more surreal.  The painting, completed last month, had evolved from my imagination.

My friend and I stopped a few times along the way and enjoyed the warm sun and creek.  I needed the breaks to take in the gorgeous setting around me.  Although a camera can capture details, ambiance is is a little harder to convey on film.  This is why I usually paint places that I've been to. My paintings may not reflect a real moment in time, but they are a projection of a real experience. 

I haven't painted much since returning from my trip to Arizona.  Sometimes inspiration needs to marinate.  As I draw in my sketchbook and work through ideas, I look forward to seeing where these new experiences lead me artistically.  


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