Friday, July 31, 2020

A Painting Hero of the Grand Canyon: Gunnar Widforss

July 31, 2020
   Caught up with one of my painting heroes last week. That would be this guy.

“Plateau Point” by Gunnar Widforss

c. 1930, Watercolor on paper

   And here's another beauty by Gunnar as well.

"Death Valley Near 20 Mule Camp"
by Gunnar Widforss, c. 1934

   When we were at the Grand Canyon last week I asked my friend and Windforss expert, Abe Hays, where Gunnar is buried and he told me the prolific artist is buried near El Tovar, and it was Kathy who found his grave in the Pioneer Cemetery at the South Rim.

Gunnar's modest grave at the South Rim

Note the paint brushes stick in the ground. Next time I go up there I am bringing a paint brush to stick in the ground as well.

   The Widforss Trail on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon was named for Gunnar Widforss. The trailhead is approximately 3 miles north of the North Rim Lodge. The trail follows the canyon rim and meanders through the forest to emerge at Widforss Point. Widforss Point is a narrow, wooded promontory half a mile southeast of the end of the Widforss trail.

   I want to go visit this trail. Meanwhile, my old, studio compadre, Ed Mell, owns a Gunnar Widforss original that portrays the North Rim area that has the trail named for him.

Gunnar original, of the North Rim,
 owned by Edmundo Segundo

   Jealous? Oh, I think so.

"The world may be a stage, but the play is badly cast."

—Old Vaquero Saying

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