South From Point Sublime – by Curt Walters

Jul 31, 2020 | Grand Canyon, Plein Aire Study, Prix de West, Sold & Exhibited Work

South from Point Sublime by Curt Walters

12″ x 12″

Oil on Canvas Board


The 20-mile forest road to the point is extremely rough and it takes most of a day to negotiate it one way. But when you arrive you know it is well worth the effort. I think it is the most incredible view in the canyon. The depth and distance is humbling. From here you understand the size and true grandeur of nature.

This panorama became one of the most recognizable views of Grand Canyon when William Holmes’ illustration of this spot was published in Clarence E. Dutton’s book The Tertiary History of the Grand Canyon District in 1882.

The detail in this drawing is remarkable. I have been to Point Sublime many times over the years, with my first visit being 40 years ago.

I have done many plein air paintings from this point, but feel I am only now close to starting a major painting of the incredible vista, which I hope will be this year.

Many historians think this was the view that inspired Thomas Moran’s epic canvas, “Chasm of the Colorado.” His painting is a combined composition from many points, but elements from Point Sublime are certainly evident.

I envision my large-scale painting as a contemporary view with recognizable geology.

The quality and color of the air of Grand Canyon is always my starting point of every canvas and I never fear the challenge. I did a small painting looking southwest from the point in the late morning light. Lingering smoke of a nearby forest burn softened and grayed the visit. I am very fond of this painting and the smoky effect.

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