Sunday, November 9, 2014

Bridal Veil Falls, Utah

studio, oil, 30" x 24", 'Bridal Veil Falls'

Bridal Veil Falls is a 607 ' tall double cataract waterfall in the south end of Provo Canyon, Utah. Flowing from springs that dot Cascade Mountain, a year-round stream of water surges over the edge. The constricted flow of water rapidly expands from a narrow point at the top to a wide, lacy veil. In the 1880's, locals began calling the natural attraction 'Bridal Veil Falls' and the name stuck.

Built in 1967, an aerial tramway to the top of the falls was the only access (other than a helicopter) to a restaurant situated on a cliff at the top of the falls. The small, six-passenger tramway was heralded as the 'world's steepest aerial tramway'. In 1996, after two significant avalanches the tramway was totally destroyed and never rebuilt.

The falls have a romantic attraction for young couples. Marriage proposals are numerous! Count me in!!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cedar Breaks National Monument

studio, oil, 24" x 30", 'A Slice of Cedar Breaks'

Cedar Breaks National Monument is located near Cedar City, Utah. It is a fantastic natural amphitheater of eroded rock stretching across 3 miles, with a depth of over 2,000 feet. The elevation of the rim of the amphitheater is over 10,000 feet above sea level.

This spectacular wonder has been challenging for me to paint. I needed to focus on one section to record the essence of my visit to Cedar Breaks, as the light was constantly shifting and changing the formations. Hence, 'A Slice of Cedar Breaks'.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

Waving the US Flag and Keeping Cool!

Mother with her girls at the July 4th Parade 2011 in Mount Pleasant, Utah.
Our last 'Hip-Hip-Hoorah' together.

Mother, Elaine and Gene watching Old Glory pass by.

Matt parading behind Johnny Rock.

Just a few of her 38 great-grandchildren. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Through My Mother's Eyes 1911 - 2014

This mixed media collage represents various stages of my Mother's 102 year + 11 month journey of life. 
I created it in 2011 to celebrate her 100th birthday.

Edith Freeman Elswood

Born 25 October 1911 - Died 25 September 2014

Grand-daughter of Utah Pioneers
Father's farm hand
Sweets candy worker
Married E. Robert Elswood 21 June 1935
Relief Society President during WWII
Garden Club member
Young Women's President
PTA President
Single mother of 4
Book keeper - working 2 part time jobs
Guide Patrol scout leader
Loves flowers and working in her yard
Graduate of Snow College after age 60
Full time missionary 3 times - California, Texas and Utah
Grandmother of 15
Great-grandmother of 38
Line dancing and teaching primary at age 90 +
Moved to Costa Rico shortly before her 100th birthday

Her ghostly metaphoric image reflects a loss of her presence. The canvas is mounted on aged patina metal. Photography fastened with various devices. My sister Elaine contributed with photos and information of Mother's history.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014

12 One Onion a Day, Keep Doc Away!

studio, oil, 6" x 6", 'Onions to Rings' 


  • Idaho ranks 4th in the nation in onion production.
  • Southwest Idaho is famous for the Giant Spanish sweet onions
  • 25% of all U.S. onions come directly from the Snake River Valley of Southwest Idaho and Eastern Oregon.

Did you know that onions contain a flavonoid called "quercetin" which protects against ca
taracts, cardiovascular disease, and cancer? Onions may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. They are a source of fiber, vitamin B6, Folate and vitamin C.

This time of year during the harvest, it is easy to spot onions scattered over bumpy back roads and the interstate curves in Eastern Oregon and Idaho counties of Canyon, Payette, Washington, Owyhee, Ada and Magic Valley area. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

11 Spudville USA

studio, oil, 6" x 6", 'Potato Flakes'

  • Idaho is ranked first in the nation for potato production, harvesting nearly 300,000 acres of potatoes each year (an acre is approximately the size of a football field)!
  • Idaho produces over 11 billion pounds of potatoes annually.
  • If Idahoans had to eat all the potatoes grown in the state, every man, woman and child would have to eat 40 potatoes per day, every day, all year-long.
  • With over a century of growing potatoes, Idaho has produced more than any other state every year since 1957.
Idaho Counties where potatoes are grown: Bingham, Bonneville, Cassia, Elmore, Fremont, Jefferson, Jerome, Madison, Power and Twin Falls

This photo was taken today of the Potato Museum in Blackfoot, Idaho, 'Potato Capitol' of the world! Notice the US flag honoring victims of 9 11.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

10 Breakfast of Champions

studio, oil, 9" x 12", 'Wheaties'

  • Wheat is grown in 42 of the 44 counties in Idaho and 42 of the 50 states in America.
  • Idaho ranks 5th in the nation in wheat production with over 106 million bushels produced in 2010.
  • Wheat is measured in bushels. A bushel weighs about 60 pounds and will make about 73 loaves of bread or 53 boxes of cereal.
  • One acre (an area about the size of a football field) can produce enough wheat to provide your family with bread for about 10 years.
  • Besides bread, wheat is used to make cereals, crackers, noodles, cakes, cookies and even licorice!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

09 Incredible Edible Idaho Grapes!

studio, oil, 6" x 6", 'Great Grapes'

  • Idaho's warm days and cool nights produce a sweet, crisp grape.
  • It takes a vine 3 years to mature before it produces grape clusters
  • A mature vine can produce over 60 pounds of grapes.
  • Idaho grows mainly seedless grape varieties, including Alborz (red), Emerald (green) and Jupiter (black).
  • The average grape vineyard in Idaho is 5 acres, about the size of 5 football fields.

Idaho Counties where table grapes are grown: Ada, Payette, Gem, Canyon and Elmore

The grapes for my painting are from a backyard garden in Boise (Ada County), Idaho. Each year around mid to late October, the ripened grapes are picked carefully from the vine, washed thoroughly, steamed and bottled for juice. Kind of like Welch's grape juice, but better!!!

Monday, September 8, 2014

08 Leaving Fort Hall

studio, oil, 9" x 12", 'Leaving Fort Hall' 

The trees I painted are on the right hand side of I-15 heading north towards Blackfoot, Idaho, leaving the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. I love these trees! They are a welcome sight.

Here are some interesting facts I learned about Fort Hall:

The Fort Hall Indian Reservation is the federally recognized Shoshone-Bannock Tribe indian reservation. It is located in southeastern Idaho on the Snake River Plain north and west of Pocatello, and comprises 814.874 sq mi of land area. Founded in 1868, it is named for Fort Hall, a trading post established by European Americans that was an important stop along the Oregon and California Trails in the middle 19th century.
In the 1850s the Shoshone, led by Chief Pocatello, had attacked emigrant parties in part because the increasing tide of settlers was encroaching on their hunting grounds and game. The Mormons, led by Brigham Young, had subsequently pursued a policy of reconciliation with the Shoshone. In 1858, the arrival of the U.S. Army into the Utah Territory led to a full-scale conflict between the U.S. and the Shoshone. Colonel Patrick Edward Connor killed more than 400 Shoshone in present-day southeastern Idaho. The massacre was the culmination of a long struggle between the Shoshone and Bannock, and U.S settlers, which included numerous attacks by both sides. Connor led his troops from Fort Douglas in January 1863 in order to "chastise" the Shoshone.
Warned of Connor's advance, Pocatello led his people out of harm's way. Another chief and his band were attacked. Pocatello subsequently sued for peace and agreed to relocate his people to the newly established reservation along the Snake River. Four bands of Shoshone and the Bannock band of the Paiute relocated to the reservation.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Monday, September 1, 2014


plein air, oil, 8" x 16", 'Bert's Farm'

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Bard

plein air, oil, 8" x 8", 'Near Cedar City'

Are you heading to the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City? It is a fun event! 
The Bard is celebrating 450 years. 
How has Shakespeare influenced your everyday sayings?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Wales Canyon Trail Ride

studio, oil, 8" x 16", 'Wales Canyon'

Wales is a town in Sanpete County, Utah. About 13 miles from where I live. Wales has no stores, gas stations nor stop lights. The population in 2012 census was 297. The small mining town of Wales was named for the country of the immigrants that were sent there by Brigham Young in 1854 to mine the "rock that burns". A Native American named Tabison, a prominent Ute, had shown Young a small sample of coal. The Welsh immigrants, having experience with coal mining in the U.K., were sent to the west side hills to set up mines.
The community's original name was Coal Bed, but was changed to Wales in 1857. There once was a railroad depot and it was an important and busy mining center. The mines and train were abandoned when more productive mines were discovered in Scofield, Utah. Many of the present residents are descendants of the original miners.
Wales lies on the west side of the Sanpete Valley, at the foot of the Sanpitch Mountains. 
This is the overlook of the Sanpete Valley on my trail ride.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Red White and Blue

plein air, oil, 11" x 14", 'One More Year'

This is a fabulous barn located in Midway, UT.  It is almost ready to tip over! I took artistic liberties and made the center pole more vertical for a more pleasing balance but... its demise is sooner than later! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wasatch Plein Air Paradise

plein air, oil, 9" x 12", 'Just Cut'

This is the other side of Mount Timpanogos from the beautiful town of Midway in Wasatch County. I just returned from the 9th annual plein air competition with many fantastic artists. It was a pleasure to enter three completed pieces. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mount Timpanogos

studio, oil, 10" x 20", 'Timp View'

I looked at this view of Timp this spring as I was driving through Utah County on my way home to Sanpete. It was lite up by the setting sun and seemed to glow. I knew I wanted to do a studio painting!

Here are some interesting facts about Mount Timpanogos.

Mount Timpanogos is the 2nd highest mountain in Utah's wasatch mountain range. Only Mount Nebo is higher. 'Timp', as the locals call it, towers over the Provo, Orem, and Pleasant Grove area and it is a very dominate feature extending almost seven miles in the north to south direction with many of its peaks reaching over the 11,000'. The vast cirques and basins were carved and gouged into this mountain by much more extensive glaciation as recently as 12,000+ years ago. One interesting fact about Timp is that it has the only real glacier in Utah, although it is very small. The glacier is one of the highlights for many of those who summit the mountain, using it as a quick descent route. 

There are 2 main trails that lead to the summit, joining at a gap not far from the main summit. 

My first summer as a student at Brigham Young University in Provo, I hiked to the summit on the Aspen Grove trail. It was exhilarating! Try it sometime!!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Nice and Warm California


plein air, oil, 9" x 12", 'San Juan Bautista Mission'

El Camino Real
California’s Royal Road

In 1769 Spain began occupying what is now California. Franciscan padres supervised the construction of 21 missions to convert the California Indians to Roman Catholicism and teach them European agriculture and trade. The military established four presidios (forts) to protect the new colonies. Travel between the settlements was difficult due to the great distances and rough terrain. Establishing a connecting road system was vital to the Spanish success. The Native Californians had developed routes to their hunting, gathering and trade areas. The roads and routes varied with the seasons. The Spanish followed and expanded these existing routes to link the missions, presidios, and pueblos (towns). Some of these routes became the Royal Road, today’s El Camino Real.

Portions of El Camino Real later became stagecoach roads and automobile highways. At the turn of the 20th century, California women’s clubs began marking the old road with reproduction mission bells. Today the bells still mark the route between the missions.