Thinking about my next project . . .

Yellow mushrooms found on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona, while hiking in nature.

Mushrooms are a classic autumn subject!

Fall is not far away here in the high desert. Overnight temperatures are back in the 50s. The roadside is full of yellow and purple asters. And of course, the chamisa is starting to bloom.

One day while we were on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, the photography group headed out in search of bison. The buffalo were camera-shy that afternoon, so the photographers worked on creating abstract patterns with aspen trunks. In the meantime, I looked on the ground for inspiring plants and flowers.

Yellow, coral-shaped fungus or wild mushroom, found while hiking at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona.

Does anyone know what species of fungus or mushroom this is? It resembles a sponge or coral.

The bright ochre yellow of these mushrooms and fungi really stood out against the detritus of the forest floor and the gray, drizzly skies!

Both of these would make exciting subjects for a botanical watercolor, don’t you think?

Travels with Sketchbook: The Grand Canyon

Watercolor and pigment marker on watercolor paper. Image of the Grand Canyon's North Rim at sunrise.

Sunrise is a special time at the Grand Canyon! After loosely placing the washes on site, I added detail with pigment markers later that day.

My portfolio page, Travels with Sketchbook, has been updated with a new gallery of images made during our recent trip to the Grand Canyon.

For this series of landscape sketches, I returned to the slightly “naive” style I’ve used in earlier travel sketches—loose watercolor sketches defined with pen and ink lines and marks.

There are 2 botanical sketches in the gallery: One is rendered in color pencil, the other is color washes with pen. Both were made at the side of some of the main trails in the park! It just goes to show you that you can find interesting things right under your nose, if you’ll only take the time to look carefully. 🙂

I just got back from the Grand Canyon . . .

A watercolor sketch of the Grand Canyon's Bright Angel Point Trail, with the sunrise view that inspired the sketch.

It’s impossible to go to the Grand Canyon and not sketch the awe-inspiring sunrises! This is a view of Bright Angel Point Trail from the North Rim

. . . and Zion National Parks, where we spent a week hiking, sketching and photographing. The Wrenaissance Man was attending a photo workshop on the South and North Rims of the Grand Canyon, chasing desert monsoon clouds and lightning in hopes of photographic drama.

It was a very busy and inspiring week, packed with day hikes, landscape and flower sketching, botanizing and gathering photo research materials.

Later this week I’ll scan in some sketches and upload photos for sharing on the blog. Right now, I’ve got all the domestic details and etc’s to take care of after a long week away. Not to mention the pups are pouting a bit after a week in the doggie hotel.

Speaking of summer vacations: Check out ArtL8dy’s wonderful post about her newest art quilt, inspired by her visit with her elderly aunt.

How was your summer vacation? I hope you spent some time refreshing your mind and your soul, whether at home or away!

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