Painted in 2020

“This painting actually began when I was at what was then Dixie College in 1973-1974. At that time, St. George was a very, very small town and after coming from the San Francisco Bay area, I found myself going absolutely crazy with nothing to do on the weekends. My roommates and I started heading out backpacking and exploring the areas around St. George. On those backpacking trips I would take my sketchbook with me, and I had my camera and painting supplies as well. That was how I began to find a real love for going and exploring the places around St. George.”

“In 1974, I took a geology class from Dr. Crosby that included an early morning field trip. Dr. Crosby had taken us to the top of a mountain, and he was explaining to us its geological formations. But with my artist eye I found I was looking down on the town of Toquerville and not listening to what Dr. Crosby was saying, but thinking about a painting that I would like to do of Toquerville. That experience really changed the way I started looking at my environment in St. George. I started to look at St. George as a city full of potential paintings.”

“Fast forward several years, and I heard about a mill being located on the bluff in St. George. I was constantly asking questions of anyone who might know some information, which eventually led me to a meeting with St. George historian Lynne Clark. She gave me lots of information on the location of the mill. There really was one!”

“After taking her information and hiking around the mountain I located the area where the mill had been. At that point I began looking for a painting that could include the mill which operated from a spring on Red Hill. Eventually, I started thinking of looking down on the mill from the top of the canyon. Then during several visits over a couple of years, I refined the location of the mill and settled on what I would do as a painting. The end result was ‘Desert Rose 1879.'”

“Allow me to share one more insight. Personally, I really enjoy the symbolism of only a small spring of fresh water that fed life into a desert city and to the temple. The water tower on the north side of the temple provided water to the upper floors of the temple and the work done there. The mill fed and provided valuable lumber to build homes and businesses, all possible from a simple stream of fresh water.”

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