Back From The Hinterlands at Escalante, Utah

I’m back from the hinterlands in Escalante, Utah. My return has made me really appreciate fast internet and electricity, neither of which I understand but thoroughly enjoy the benefits of. It’s become a big part of my life I’m sad to say. To be fair, Escalante isn’t off the grid by any means. They do have electricity and the internet there. It’s just that where I was camped, the internet was minimal and the electricity was a mere 110 outlet shared by many.

I have a self contained trailer, a good one too, but the 10 days I was off the grid exceeded the battery capacity. The solar panel couldn’t keep up due to 3 days of cloudy/rainy skies. My water held out however, which is important out in the desert. For those of you just tuning in, if you’ll remember, I was gone to a painting event, Escalante Canyons Art Festival in Utah. It was an intense 10 days of painting, up early and out late. I say out late as there was one event in which we had to paint a nocturne, as in do a painting at night with the full moon.

Here’s a photo of it. I had to take the photo the next day because it wouldn’t have turned out in the dark…right?


Nocturnes have become the rage. This was my first attempt at one and I will say I was rather pleased with the out come and will definitely do it again. Maybe a couple more times, under the full moon. This winter with the reflection off of the snow might be kind of cool. Yeah, literally, right?

In the words of Ed Sullivan, it was a “really good show”. I got a great body of work done, met some great people and experienced some great country. What more can you ask for? Because of the slow internet/cell service available out there, I had to wait until I got back before i could post any photos. That little circle would just barely go round so it was pointless to even try to upload photos.

Here’s a shot or two of some of the paintings I did.


This was a painting I did after driving down the Smokey Mountain road out of town for about 6 or 8 miles. I actually came across the scene of the shadowed red rock wall and morning light on the rabbit brush on the way back.


This is one I painted from under the awning of my trailer while it was raining.


There are some really cool buildings in town. Unfortunately there wasn’t time to paint it all.

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 The Escalante Canyons Art Festival has a month long artist in residency that’d be fun to do. One could easily spend a month there, just getting used to the area.

I used to do the show over in Escalante some years ago and I’ll say that the quality of the art has improved significantly. The event originally started to commemorate the life of Everett Ruess. Ruess was a young “free spirit” who wandered the desert doing watercolors and block prints. This was back in the first part of the 1900’s. He disappeared mysteriously near Escalante and has generated much folklore in the area. He traveled with a burrow and a little dog, both of which were found but no sign of Everett. Speculation was high as to his demise but no evidence has ever been recovered. Several books have been published. An interesting story to be sure. You can read more about him here.

I’m here for this week and then on Sunday I’ll leave for another event in Moab. Yeah, I know, it’s a rough, demanding life but it’s what I do. I’ll be in the KOA over there so I should have better service and be able to post to the website regularly.

If you get a chance, stop by. I’ll see you downtown.