Sabino Canyon in Tucson Arizona, has some fantastic hiking and beautiful views of the Sonora desert. http://www.sabinocanyon.com/trail_bc.php
Recently, I sent an image of this in-progress painting of Sabino Canyon to a friend who was planning to hike Bear Trail to 7 Falls the next day. The following evening we were talking, when he said he didn't reconize the spot on the trail from the painting. I explained that the painting isn't a documentation of the location, it's more an impression of the experience of the day. Sometimes I do try to reproduce a landmark to a point that others will recognize as in my painting of Cathedral Rock.
Even when I'm attempting to faithfully reproduce the scene, I'm still painting an impression based on my experience. If you Google images of Cathedral Rock you will find many great photos, but probably not one from the location that I painted. And when you see my personal photos, you'll see that the painting isn't a copy of the photo. There are elements and patterns and sometimes colors that are represented, but not always. My paintings are abstract personal impressions. It is satisfying to hear someone say that the painting captures the experience that they had when they were there.
As usual I start digitally, roughing out basic value and color studies.
Next comes a color study in oils. This is about 10" wide.
The final. 26x18