I’m at Horseshoe Bend, Arizona and it’s raining, which makes it feel like Symonds Yat in the UK.
Whilst I sketch, a Chinese woman asks my partner to take her picture. She gradually edges towards me, until eventually, she squats down right next to me, puts her arm around my shoulder, and grins for the camera. She doesn’t look at me, or talk to me. Now that never would have happened in the Forest of Dean.
Another trippy ink moment
Look no vertigo!
I left Page with some sadness when the radio announced that I could have got 10% off at the lube shop. Only if I turned up in my Halloween costume though. Still I’m not one to dwell on missed opportunities.
A quick stop at the Glen Canyon Dam. 15 feet shy of the Hoover dam.
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.
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.
9am is far too early to stumble across a pair of 20 foot high peacocks, just begging to be sketched.
Peacock flower display in The Bellagio Conservatory
Once I finished the pen work, I eyed up the fancy mosaic floor and decided this was not the place to risk ‘Inktober day five: The return’. So I went round the corner to a safer spot, to finish the ink wash.
Don’t spill it. Don’t spill it.
Not quite believing that no one moved me and my grubby little palette on, I returned to my flowered friends to finish off.
Next stop, the worlds largest chocolate fountain, 8m high and multi-flavoured!
A woman knows real love, for the first time
My final stop of the day had to be the fountain of the gods at Caesars palace.
Oh wing-ed horse you are the campest I have ever seen, with your teeth so white. Forever destined to be a grinning backdrop in the photographs of tourists less beautiful than you.
Hanover is an area of Brighton and Hove known for it’s colourful houses and hilly streets. Short of time again today, I did the pen work for my Inktober sketch in a few minutes, whilst I waited for my fish and chips at the Cod Father.
The colour was added at home in about 10 minutes, shortly followed by an ink-saster all over the carpet! I’ll never leave the lid off an ink pot again. Still it was great to do a bit of brush work and it is a lovely shade of green!