"On the way to Arizona along highway 89A my wife and
I and came upon an amazing
scene. In a most desolate stretch of red rock desert
just south of the Utah border, we discovered a very old
abandoned house built into a rock overhang. All around the
area there were
huge weirdly shaped rocks and behind the house massive red
rock cliffs encircled with clouds! We were blown away! I got
my camera and tripod out and began snapping dozens of
pictures from every angle. I definitely had painting
on my mind! When we returned to my Salt Lake City
studio, I went through my photos and found several
that would make good source images for my oil paintings.
So, I began painting. After I finished my first piece,
"Desert Rules", I decided to produce another—This one.
"What's Left" is a sequel to "Desert Rules". I decided to make this a larger painting than "Desert Rules" to show a different perspective of the Rock House. In this version I also did very tight detail work to capture the textures and colors. As there was nothing alive in the area except some brownish bushes here and there. I decided the piece needed some life in it. So in this sequel, I decided that circling Turkey Vultures-(one visible and one just above the viewer's head), would capture the sense of desolation and dreams lost-- the essence of the piece. I also decided not to paint in carrion but rather to leave that to the viewer's imagination. Edgy but not yucky - rich with symbolism-perfect for this painting."
R. Geoffrey Blackburn