The musings of a landscape painter, art teacher, and art history lover
It has been exciting to spend so much time in the studio. As I am leaning back into landscape painting, I have been wanting to start to paint some of Phoenix's most iconic locations, and of course Camelback Mountain had to be at the top of that list. Camelback Mountain dominates the skyline of the east valley, and thousands of people climb her steep sandstone slopes each year.
One of the things that I love best about this mountain is the way that it shifts color throughout the day. You can drive by in the morning, and it will be a bright orange color. Pass it again in the afternoon, and it might be more of a reddish purple. In the evening, it can be almost a blood-red hue. During a storm, it will turn a misty gray. This mountain is constantly changing outfits to fit its mood.
Part of Camelback's mystique is the praying monk that sits so piously on its back. The praying Monk is a sandstone rock formation that nature has carved to resemble a monk kneeling and bent over in prayer. It's Phoenix's own Christ the Redeemer statue and no matter your faith, its spiritual quality cannot be missed.
I enjoyed painting this small image of the Monk at sunset, and was not sure that I would be able to capture the way the sun was setting on the mountain. I also had to work out the details in the foreground and remove some structures that didn't seem to help the composition. In the end, I think this little painting came out just right.
Author: Bruce Black
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