Sergio Lopez - North SF Bay Area Fine Artist

Upcoming Shows and Events

•Spoke Art: April 7, 2016. "The 5th Annual Moleskine Show." San Francisco, CA.

•Bakersfield Museum of Art: April 9th, 2016. "Kern County Plein Air." Bakersfield, CA.

•Christopher Queen Gallery: May 1st, 2016. "The Golden Hour." Duncans Mills, CA.

•Abend Gallery: May 13th, 2016. "Contemporary Figuration." Denver, CO.

•Paso Arts Fest: May 26th, 2016. "Signature Exhibition." Paso Robles, CA.

•Los Gatos: June 18th, 2016. "Los Gatos Plein Air." Los Gatos, CA.

Sonoma Plein Air: September 10th, 2016 "Sonoma Plein Air." Sonoma, CA.

•Modern Eden Gallery: September 17th, 2016. Beautiful Bizzare Invitational Show. San Francisco, CA.

•Christopher Queen Gallery: October 2nd, 2016. "A Splendid Journey: 40th Anniversary Show." Duncans Mills, CA.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

2014 Main Loop Roadtrip Part 3: Zion, The Sierras, and The Scary Mystery Truck

I'll be wrapping up my Colorado trip here with the journey back to Santa Rosa. Fair notice: this post is mostly photos, so if it's not your bag, I'll see you next time.
I left Telluride in the evening with the expectation that I would reach my destination(Zion National Park)  in the morning. It was about 7 hours of mostly sparse desert to get there so I was hoping to get through the mostly boring parts at night.

I was getting really tired near Page, AZ. I did not see any place to rest anywhere so I stopped at some teeny little town called Kaibito. There was nothing that looked halfway inviting for a quick stop besides a gas station with a little parking lot. I thought I would try to take a cat-nap that would power me until I reached Page. I was there for less than 10 minutes when I saw a truck drive around the lot and come right up to the side of my car, headlights still on. The truck was not moving, and the headlights were staying on, but no one was coming out of the truck either. Who was in the truck and what did they want?? I didn't know what to do. I did not want to get out of my car, but I didn't want to pull out because what were they going to do? Would they follow me? Was another truck going to come and box me in? I was starting to get nervous. I tried to look in the truck to see what type of person was in the truck. I couldn't see much inside, and couldn't really see the side of the truck either. I didn't do anything, just tried to wait it out for another 10 minutes or so. They didn't move, just stayed in their truck and kept their lights on. I thought, OK, I'm just going to pull out, try and leave, and see what happens. So I backed out, and was able to see what kind of truck it was. Arizona State Troopers. So I knew I wasn't going to die, but still didn't know why they didn't question me or tell me to get out of the truck or anything. I left the gas station, then got back on the road and left the town. They didn't follow me. So I don't know what that was about, but it scared me enough to get me to drive another half hour to Page.

I slept near a bunch of RV's in the back of a WalMart parking lot. Apparently this was the de facto rest stop in the area. I can't sleep for long in airplane seats or car seats, so I only slept long enough to catch the sunrise. By the way, very few skies more beautiful than desert sunrises.
One of the most beautiful drives I've ever done! Maybe the sunrise bumped it up a few notches, but the drive between Lake Powell and Kanab, UT was glorious... It goes along the edge of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. I couldn't get great shots of that, but here are a couple of photos of what I saw along that drive.
I reached Zion about a couple of hours after stopping in Page. It is quite the amazing site. The park is created in these towering red "temples" of limestone and sandstone and is also carved by rivers that have created beautiful canyons. Here is one of many scenic viewpoints in the park.
I stopped to eat breakfast at a cafe that happened to have an awesome painting by Kevin Macpherson in it. For my money, it's the best landscape painting in this post :P Good to see some nice art in such a tourist destination.
This a view partway down Zion Canyon that made me nickname it "Desert Yosemite." The views along the trail are so inspiring. Had I more time and energy I would have trekked up Angel's Landing but the trail to the "emerald pools" was more than sufficient.
One thing about the wildlife here: The squirrels are VERY friendly. No doubt because of the tourists ignoring the many warnings not to feed them. The squirrels are fatter than I'm used to seeing, and move at about half the speed of your neighborhood guy. This does, however, afford me the chance to take some cool close-up shots of them, like this one here.
My one attempt to paint in the park was thwarted by the sudden onset of rain in the park about midway through this painting. I wasn't even going to post this, but I think some people like seeing half-done paintings as well. If this is the first painting of mine you've ever seen, PLEASE go back in my archive a little bit, I'm much better than this...
It was rainy and gray in the park, so that meant I wasn't going to get to do much more there unless I waited it out for another few hours or so. I needed to get moving, so I got back in the road. One of my favorite things in nature is watching what happens as the clouds clear after a rain.
These were both taken near St. George. It seems like a pretty cool place on account of its proximity to so many national parks and monuments.
So, between St George and Vegas it was raining. Sometimes it sprinkled, other times it stormed. It didn't, however, cool down much. It felt like 95 degrees at 9:30 PM in Vegas. How do people live in such a place?? The desert is not a place for me to live. I stayed at a place in Pahrump, which for the price was a million times nicer than the motel I stayed in at Green River.

It was nice to see my beloved California in the distance here. Not sure what those mountains are called, but they have the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, home to the oldest trees in the world.
Some of the beautiful Eastern Sierras, outside of Bishop.
My whole idea for taking the route home was to be able to paint at the June Lake Loop. It's a relatively easy place to reach by car, and while not as pristine as Lake Ediza, it is still extremely beautiful place to visit. It is an alpine lake with a charming town and the quintessential granite mountains around it(think mini-Tahoe). Again, thwarted by rain halfway through! I finished this one in the studio, where I was able to control the lighting situation in the painting a little better.
It was still another six hours to get home, and the rain was off/on still, so I didn't paint anymore on my way home. But here are some nice shots that I took of the mountain landscapes.

The meadows in Mono County are very picturesque and highly worthy painting subjects. What else could you need?
A valley view along Monitor Pass. Again, so much to paint in the area.
A cluster of peaks near Markleeville.
Another beautiful scene near Markleeville, close to South Lake Tahoe.
Thanks for hanging along. Until next adventure!

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