Sunday, October 11, 2009

Palo Duro Canyon III

8" x 10" oil on panel
$100.00 + $10. s./h
contact me if interested

This is the 3rd piece I painted on Tuesday afternoon at Palo Duro Canyon. It was late in the day and we switched to another picnic spot. As it was all day, the sun was in and out, causing color and value changes.

Before heading out to paint Tuesday morning we went to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum which is on the campus of WTA&M. It is one of the most beautiful, well set-up museums I've seen and is Texas' largest history museum. In the geology section of the musuem we were given a talk by Petroleum Geologist Chris Bright on the Colors of Palo Duro Canyon. Some of what he told us:
--The dark red at the bottom of the Canyon is the top layer of the Permian age. The earth has an abundance of iron, which in combination w/ oxygen resulted in the dark red oxidation found in the Permian Formations.
--Murky, blue shale was deposited in the Triassic swamp mud. Rivers flowed through this area and cut into the bright red Permian, which resulted in the purple shale.
--He explained that artists find the Canyon so pleasing because the layers compliment each other. Next to the purple layers, is the complementing yellow shale, which is oxygen rich swamp deposits.
--The off-white, or grey sandstone at the top of the Canyon is the white sandstone of the caprock.

We were so impressed that Chris had geared his whole talk to artists and teaching us about the colors and layers of the Canyon. I had never really thought about rocks and color in quite this way. I live in the west, I live in the Rocky Moutains, I live near the Garden of the Gods, our son is a Geology major, I know that colors in paint come from and mountains are not new to me. But, I had never before sat in front of a huge relief sculpture of a canyon showing all the layers and colors and had it explained to me in such a way. It made my paintings so much more meaningful to understand the origin of the color.


Debbi Smith Rourke said...

Lovely painting and such interesting info. If you ever go to Sedona, you must take a pink jeep tour up into the red rocks where they explain all the fascinating geology. How cool your son is a geologist!

Nancy B. Hartley said...

Pam, I love your interesting narrative to go with you beautiful paintings. This sounds like a fun trip. I have never heard of Palo Duro Canyon, so I learned something new.

Pam Holnback said...

Debbi, A trip to Sedona is on my list. I'll plan on the pink jeep!

Nancy, I had never heard of Palo Canyon until 3 weeks beofre the trip. And it's the 2nd largest canyon in the country!