"One of the most beautiful spots on earth is near Jackson
Hole, Wyoming in the Grand Teton National Park. I've visited
there off and on since the late 1950's. During the early
1960's I was an alpine ski racer and raced both on Snow King
Mountain (in Jackson) and on the newly opened Teton Pass.
Now that I am a geezer I don't ski much so, my more recent
visits to Jackson are more cerebral and aesthetically
In recent years, I have been visiting more frequently to explore the area to generate ideas and capture images for use in future paintings. Recently, I took a series of photos of the Oxbow Bend area-- a looping meander of the Snake River near Jackson Lake, with Mt. Moran in the background. Oxbow Bend is one of my favorite places. I have visited it several times over the years. An amazing variety of wildlife flourishes in Grand Teton National Park, including pelicans, elk, moose and just about every other animal found in North America. So, how can I resist the temptation to paint the area? Answer: I can't.
I began "Pelicans Rising" in 2007 finishing April 2008. I didn't decide to put in the pelicans and elk until I was nearly done with the painting. Glad I did! It took 205 hours to paint. In 2012 I revised the painting adding shadows under the pelicans and completely repainting the elk. I will be doing more paintings from the area! Any excuse to visit the area.
I particularly liked working in a different color palette than what I use in my red rock art. It was nice looking at cool colors rather than the warm colors I usually use. Grand Teton National Park is truly astonishing. If you haven't seen it, you owe yourself a visit!"
R. Geoffrey Blackburn