In 2006 I took a Road Trip from San Francisco to New Mexico and back over the course of a month, writing and taking photos all the way. Two years later I had a show of paintings based on those photographs. This is one of a series of twenty-nine posts of those paintings accompanied by the relevant diary entries.


Sedona to the Painted Desert, oil on board, 8 x 24 inches

13. May 7th, 2006

With Flagstaff as a base I drove south…

Red Rock State Park. Going into Red Rock State Park the attendant was a friendly man from Texas-retired 3 and a half years, sold the house and permanently travelling with his wife in an RV. Would love to do that. 

Its very beautiful here-hot, red dry. Hard to imagine what is was like to be an Apache, moving through the dry hills in the hot stillness. A bird of prey-a buzzard?or the not so common Common Black Tailed Hawk-is cruising in the blue sky, turning this way and that, wings outstretched.

The House of Apache Fire is in the park, built by a couple who divorced three years after the building began in 1947, never finished, though part of it was lived in-sad, a dream, a vision, unrealised. Romance crashes to the ground.


Sedona and environs was impressive. Pink bottomed hills fading up to yellow. Dead, grey and twisted trees, darting lizards and cacti….dead coyote on the side of the road. A tumbleweed hit my car. Buzzard cruising on the breeze. The appalling church built into the rock in Sedona. Red Rock pinnacles thrusting up into the sky. 


Drove until 4pm. Always get confused coming into Flagstaff…

…you big local you…

…ended up on the wrong Freeway, bad signs. Have had enough of this town now. Also sick of hostels and buying groceries, will eat out from now on, cheaper and easier.

I did not like Flagstaff at all. It was irritating and dull at the same time. I always remember a man trying to impress me by mentioning some realisation he had about life when he was in Flagstaff, Arizona. The only thing I realised was that it annoyed me..

Grand Canyon tomorrow-will try camping though I don’t want to, I like having comfortable space but there is a dearth of accommodation on the Navajo Res…

015 tea, starbucks, sedona, AZ

Tea, Starbucks, Sedona, oil on board, 9 x 7 inches (approx.)


3 responses to “ROAD TRIP : SEDONA

  1. That looks a beautiful, if frightening, place. I had to look on a map, because I couldn’t make sense of your journey in my head. It turns out that Arizona is not where I thought it was. I think that’s probably true of the most of the US. I’ll be using the map from now on.

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