I painted this scene about 2 years after painting a plein air sketch of this area. I remember well the feelings I felt while doing that little sketch. But my memory filtered out all of the unnecessary information and strengthened the more important elements.
To stay true to the emotional response, but having a desire to improve upon the composition, I rearranged and re-designed the elements quite drastically. The rock formations in the painting look different than they do in reality. But they feel like them. You could say that I moved mountains and hills and transplanted trees and such.
The end result is a painting that captures the essence of the west face of the San Rafael Reef in Central Utah.