Sweetwater County (WY) 

Community Fine Arts Center Artist-In Residence 

September 2022 

In mid-September 2022, I traveled to Rock Springs, WY to participate in a  one week artist residency sponsored by Sweetwater County Community Fine Arts Center.  The larger area is referred as the Red Desert,  an immense arid region that stretches from Wyoming's South Central mountains down into the Flaming Gorge Canyons along the Utah border.   On this page, I've posted a "journal" of my residency.

I'd like to thank the Sweetwater County Community Fine Arts Center Board for organizing this residency.  A Board has to have vision and gumption to bring an idea like this to fruition.  And, of course, A LOT of logistical organizing to make it happen.   I am still delighted to have served as their first artist!   RJ Pieper, the Board President, gave me a truly memorable afternoon tour of the area that was instrumental in planning out the residency.  Debora Soule was indispensable for handling all the nitty gritty details to make the Residency a reality.  A huge thank you and acknowledgment to both of these wonderful individuals!  

Getting Ready

To maximize my time at the residency, advanced preparation was necessary so when I arrived, I was ready to get to work.  There was a substantial amount of planning  in the weeks before the project.  The video is a quick look at painting a coat of ground color onto a variety of different panel shapes precut to paint on.

Day 1: Camel Rock

My first stop was just south of Rock Springs.  Early in the residency, there was quite a bit of wild fire smoke in the air, obscuring many views.  I did return here one week later to sketch in some features that had appeared after storms during the week scrubbed the atmosphere a bit.  However, temperatures had dropped pretty significantly and I remember it being freezing on my final visit. 

Day 2: Boar's Tusk in the Red Desert

Another great RJ recommended spot!  Travelling north from Rock Springs, a great vista awaited!

Presentation at ARTember

Rock Springs, WY

My first community presentation: an informal show and tell regarding my approach to developing artwork in the field, given on a glorious Fall afternoon at the outdoor art festival in Rock Springs, ARTember.

Day 4: Firehole Canyon, Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area

Green River at Firehole Canyon

Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, Firehole Canyon, WY

Mixed media acrylic on panel

Day 5

 West side of Firehole Canyon

Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area

September 2022

To grasp and understand the topography of the Firehole Canyon area, I made a trip down the west side of the Gorge,  almost immediately due west of my location from the previous day.

The remainder of the day was spent driving, sightseeing, and hiking around the southern end of the Gorge.  It is fantastic.

Day 6: September 14, 2022

Red Desert, WY

Facing towards Pine Canyon and Emmons Cone

I was intrigued by these two Buttes looking towards Pine Canyon, so I stopped to do a study as part of a longer drive out to the Honeycomb Buttes by the South Pass.  

Unfortunately, the weather began to change and with threatening storms on the horizon, my best judgement was to return to the main roads.

Pine Canyon, 2022-3

Mixed media acrylic on panel

Oregon Butte by the South Pass and the Continental Divide.

Art Chat

Sweetwater County Community Fine Arts Center

Rock Springs, WY

September 14, 2022

Public Presentation at CFAC

Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge

Day 7: September 15, 2022

Seedskadee, my first experience encountering a real life oasis in the desert.  As you might expect, it was a pretty lively area filled with birds chirping and "talking" to each other.  Far different than the more seemingly solitary experience in most of the desert country.


North White Mountain Overlook

Red Desert

September 15, 2022

To summarize my Red Desert Experience, I returned for one last painting trip and chose a view that included some key features: Boar's Tusk, Emmons Cone, and the Killpecker Dunes to the North.   That painting is underway!  Thanks again, RJ, for the spot!