Posts from the ‘USA’ category

Bluff and I got off to a bad start last night. First I mistook the town laundrymat for our hotel (it’s huge). Then I found myself driving through the dark, deserted town on the left hand side. Whoops!

I admit I had fairly low expectations for Bluff fort, but this great museum and its dedicated volunteers really bring to life the story of the town’s first white settlers.

Bluff fort has numerous log cabins, lovingly furnished by the ancestors of the first white settlers


I was struck by the Native American attitude to the land, contrasted with the white settlers who literally blasted their way through rocks, adapting the landscape to meet their unbending needs and faith.

Native American teepee and mud hut, frankly much warmer than the log cabins!

Next, a dream fulfilled. A sketch of Monument valley from Forrest Gump point, whilst being circled by hungry dogs. Somebody pinch me!



The only thing to top that has to be sunset at the Grandview, Grand Canyon. 

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It’s Sunday, so it must be time for the Arches omnibus.

I begin with Delicate Arch. 

I am Boba Fett perched at the Great Pit of Carcoon, and the Sarlacc is belching below me. At least it feels that way as I sit clinging to my rucksack and ink pots, terrified my sketchbook, or me, will slide down the 45 degree slope and into the sheer drop below.

It may be the altitude, or the heat, or the prospect of death, but when I stand, I have a major attack of the vertigos.

Can’t believe I stood under the arch for the money shot and an hour later I’m clinging to the rock with my head spinning!

Next up, a touch of sedate pen work down in the valley.

That’s Delicate Arch again from down below

One arch isn’t enough for me, so next up, Double Arch.

Yesterday was all chipmunks and vultures. Today lizards, deer and a skunk in the middle of the road!

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Endurance sketching today in Bryce Canyon. Nobody warned me about those bitter cross winds!

I put the full Faber-Castell ‘Terra’ Pitt pens through their paces in far from optimal sketching conditions – stood on a cliff, on a narrow path, in mighty gusts!

7 layers and still chilled to the bone.

A walk around the stunning Navajo loop saw another opportunity to perch precariously for 45 minutes. I really missed my compact little paint palette, as shuffling through a rucksack for the right colour inks on a steep slope is not so fun.

Supreme thanks to my little helper today. You are ‘sweeter than Muscat wine’

After that, a 4+ hour drive to Moab. Some truly eye-watering scenery, if only I could sketch and drive at the same time. 

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