By Buffalo Kaplinski
i left on NOVEMBER 1 , 2019 on a trip that i had high goals & knew ahead of time that it would be demanding physically & artistically as well . when i got back home i had logged 2,200 miles .got stopped for speeding on the way home ! the TROOPER said i was doing 89 when i passed him [ 75 mph zone ]. i was surprised & when i saw his flashing lights did'nt have time to pray , if you've been stopped you know the feeling - you broke THE LAW , after handing over DRIVERS LICENSE etc you sit there DAZED . i'm gonna get it now . he was on his computer for eternity it seemed - then he came back & said i should slow down - NO CITATION ! he was a BLACK MAN named NEWTON & at end of our meeting told him about JOHN NEWTON who wrote AMAZING GRACE . he also indicated that he knew THE LORD . did'nt get a citation - AMAZING GRACE !
the start of trip i visited a dear friend FRAN in assisted living in MONTROSE & went on to GRAND JUNCTION & stayed with other friends BILL & CHRISTY RICHARDSON who collect my work & have a very large painting " STRENGTH " [ 36 ' x 60" ] over their mantle .BILL is a PETRO - GEOLOGIST & knows his formations for sure [ graduate school of mines ] makes his living looking at ROCK FORMATIONS ! after our visit on to I-70 WEST . this is a very scenic route & goes into UTAH , some of the ROCK FORMATIONS along the way are STUPENDOUS including a most impressive cut through the SAN RAFAEL SWELL .i got into RICHFIELD , UTAH and over to I-15 , a horrible interstate with as much traffic as I- 25 at rush hour - people & trucks go between SALT LAKE & ST GEORGE use it to commute [ someone told me that ]
i got to ZION on NOVEMBER 4 with a super nice CONDO to stay [ thanks MATT & TRISTA RAYNER] all the artists were at a get together DINNER that LYMAN HAFEN arranged [ a stranger name then BUFFALO KAPLINSKI ] LYMAN put together a dinner with residents of SPRINGDALE .we all had 10 minutes to tell our favorite places in ZION and who we were & with 45 people took way too long . that THURSDAY it was turn as every artist in CENTENNIAL EXHIBIT did a DEMO . my friends the YETSKO 's came to DEMO & JOHN YETSKO did photos of me . JOHN & PHYLISS recently moved from DENVER to ST GEORGE - JOHN had worked at DENVER POLICE DEPT [ evidence room ] & they suggested it would be better for his health to move to a warmer spot & spend more time with his family?
the day of my DEMO the SUN was out & the day before scoped out what i was going to paint& i decided to do a square in the diamond formation . at the DEMO musta had 200 people . 2 days later it sold for over the VALUE . my friends MARTHA & MICHAEL SULLIVAN wanted it & KRISTY RICE from PENNSYLVANIA out bid them by $ 20 ?
i was able to paint in ZION & then the night of the opening of the ZION CENTENNIAL came with a lot of people , a lot of ART sold ; but BUFFALO did'nt . one lady told me " I REALLY FUCKIN' LIKE THAT PAINTING & MAYBE I"LL BUY IT " she did'nt . later on the ZION FOREVER COLLECTION bought a PLEIN AIR i did earlier in the week & it was one with a BIBLICAL TITLE - PSALM 90 : 12 - " teach us our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom" a favorite PSALM of mine about life & death .the painting was of a almost dead tree in front of a MAGNIFICENT canyon wall. . i had picked out a very quiet spot to do the painting [ i thought ] turns out a road crew had other ideas . i had them take my photo later . my close friends MICHAEL & MARTHA SULLIVAN came from LONGMONT , their second visit to ZION to encourage me & came to ARTIST PAINT OUT that SATURDAY.
one of my special places for me to paint is KOLOB CANYON not in SPRINGDALE but about 45 minutes away & you have to go on I - 15 , my CONDO hosts MATT & TRISTA made it possible for me to stay after all the artists left & i was able to spend entire day in KOLOB .some other highlights of trip were getting to know some of other ARTISTS - ROLAND LEE is quite an EXCELLENT WATER COLORIST & everyone got a copy of his new book . i had a very neat dinner with GEORGE HANDRAHAN & discussed ART & IDEAS & his involvement in the ARTS .GEORGE presented an interesting concept about creation of ART -ACADEMIC , INTELLECTUAL , & SPIRITUAL , quite an articulate man . it turns out both of these fine men belong to LDS CHURCH .i was working on a painting and a man wanted to see it i asked him to take some photos of me - he emailed me later VINCE CUMININOTTO , he was with 2 CHINESE LADIES , one his wife .VINCE was dressed up like he was in NEW YORK city , fine clothes & ITALIAN shoes exploring the rugged canyons of ZION.
OK must go , i left for PAGE ARIZONA [ GLEN CANYON ] and knew i was running out of time - one place i want to paint is THE HORSESHOE BEND of COLORADO RIVER , i've seen it ; but have'nt painted it yet .i spent the night near TUBA CITY on NAVAHO RESERVATION & then to GRAND CANYON . i was knocked over by the beauty & knew i wanted to paint . got to what was called " THE VILLAGE " looked for a room , first place NO VACANCY " well i did'nt give up & went to BRIGHT ANGEL LODGE a very nice lady ALACIA gave me what was a $ 300 / night room for $ 100 . WOW ! the room was on CANYON RIM & i did 2 paintings 50 feet from my room . people were going by my bedroom window & no WINDOW peepers - they liked seeing the CANYON. then I painted all day the next day . my favorite spot was MORAN POINT a real eye dazzler named after the FAMOUS ARTIST who did PLEIN AIR & was on POWELL JOURNEYS of the COLORADO RIVER [ 1887 ] -WOW what a trip ! the end