This painting comes as close to a landscape painting as anything I've painted in a very long time. It is a bit of an anomaly, being the largest painting I have ever produced and one that I worked on for more than two years. It began at the beginning of Covid, when I was forced to turn my studio into a digital classroom in order to teach online. There were many days when I spent hours at the computer. Determined to continue painting throughout, I would take the time to put at least one little "piece" of paint on this painting.
In 2021 we rented a camper-van in California to travel across the American southwest. We spent time camping in northern Arizona and southern Utah. Experiencing the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands National Park, and Navajo country along the way was a life-changing experience.
Coming back to this painting in my studio, the colours and focus changed dramatically. I considered the geologic history exposed in the layers of rock formed long before humans walked the earth. As I added elements of representation I began to imagine the hidden stories layered in the landscape.