18" x 36"
Oil on Panel
Capitol Reef, located in southern Utah, is contained within a present day national park of the same name. It was called a 'reef' because it presented a long obstacle to crossing by the early settlers especially with a horse team and wagon.
The area has a surprisingly warm summer climate which is suitable in some small oasis valleys for fruit cultivation. The Fremont River supplies the irrigation.
This barn is usually called the Gifford Barn, although it might more properly be called after Calvin Pendleton, the early Mormon settler who built it.
I designed the painting to depict the early days of his stewardship.
The location is not easy to get to today, so one can readily understand that the Pendleton family ate and used what they grew or developed themselves. That might incline one to faith and prayerful diligence. At least the law of the harvest was surely a daily lesson for them.
Also the observation that without a steady supply of living water, this fruit harvest was not possible.
This area, the historic home for a handful of families, is also called Fruita. The last family moved away in 1969.
The painting has the prominent grey green hues of this American desert. Some of this was created with viridian, an intense green that I don't usually use. The sky which has a cerulean blue color was also painted with mixtures of viridian. In both instances the chroma has been stepped on rather severely.
The rock cliff face has a bit more iron oxide orange than the photo demonstrates in this view.
Plein aire frame