AArtist Emily Scott’s obsession with Antelope Canyon dates back to when she was growing up in Montana and came across images of the northern Arizona landmark while researching images of “cool natural spots.”
“Antelope Canyon was something that I had been obsessed with from a very, very young age and I knew I would get there in person eventually,” she said. “I’ve never seen anything else like it.”
Scott finally fulfilled his dream of visiting Upper Antelope Canyon in 2011.
“I’ve never been anywhere else that makes me feel the way this place makes me feel, just comforted and held and peaceful,” she said of that visit. “How do you question greater creative power when you witness something like this? It leaves me speechless. When I first saw him in person, I cried a lot.
It wasn’t until 10 years after that visit that Scott felt inspired to paint Antelope Canyon. The result is the Sacred Series — six 5-by-6-foot paintings based on photographs she took of Upper Antelope Canyon in 2011 — which will premiere at the Page Fine Art Festival April 7-10.
Scott said she started the series’ first chart in January 2021.
“It was always on my list of things I wanted to do, but there were so many other things going on: moving, working and ordering people and other little things,” a- she said, adding that last January he “appeared in [my] head that it’s time, and I wanted to do something really big.
Her idea was to make the largest painting she had ever done in dimension.
“The original intention was just this painting I had in mind,” she said. “I think my initial desire for the painting was selfish. I wanted a giant room that felt like I was there, that I could have in my home and feel like I was walking through the canyon myself anytime in my living room. Then it just exploded from there.
This “explosion” occurred when Scott was contacted by Page town staff to present her work on Antelope Canyon to Page. As a result, this single painting she had in mind suddenly expanded into a series of six pieces.
“We had a meeting and started talking about the work and potential things we could do to collaborate around this work that would benefit the community. People at Page were like, “We’re going to do a big art festival and you’re going to be the front page of it.” I’m like, ‘OK, I’ll be there,’” Scott laughed. “Once I started, it was like, well, I’m committed. It got really real and a deadline was set, and everything else was put aside while I work on those these and those alone.
With the Page Fine Art Festival deadline in place, it took Scott about a year to complete the series of six Sacred paintings, which she completed in the first week of February this year.
A permanent fascination for art and nature
Born and raised in Montana, Scott was interested in art from an early age. She was raised primarily by her grandparents, and her grandmother was a “very artistic and crafty person” who could do everything from sewing and tailoring to quilting and painting.
“When my grandmother came to painting, that’s what really touched me and brought me the most joy, interest and love,” Scott said. “Once she noticed that, she let me know.”
Her grandfather also noticed this interest and he bought Scott her first Bob Ross oil paint starter kit when she was about 6 or 7 years old.
“I still have my Bob Ross palette knife. It’s not even weakened at all 30 years later, so I still use it all the time. I love Bob. He’s the man,” said Scott has long since switched from oil to acrylic because she prefers more environmentally friendly mediums that don’t require chemicals for cleanup.
Rather than go to art school, Scott earned a bachelor’s degree in human services and a master’s degree in nonprofit executive leadership. She worked in the non-profit sector for about a decade, including several years abroad in places like England and Macedonia, but her interest in art never waned.
Scott said the main inspiration for his works has always been nature-based.
“It’s what drives me and my work, and it’s what I want to portray so other people can have an experience or a relationship with it if they don’t see it in person,” he said. she declared.
When she travels, she seeks “epic nature” that brings her “comfort, peace, and joy.”
“The more places you explore, the more you recognize the value of things you’ve experienced before. Coming from the Glacier Park area of western Montana, the only thing I’ve seen anywhere else in the world that comes close of this epic are the fjords of Norway,” she said.
Scott has lived in Washington State but will soon be moving to Texas. Her road trip to Page for the art festival plans to visit Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, White Sands National Park in New Mexico and Lower Antelope Canyon, which she did not visit during her 2011 trip to northern Arizona.
“Lower Antelope Canyon is on my agenda for this trip, and now that the lake is dropping so low, tragically, all of these new canyons are exposed. I’m very excited to participate in it as well and get more material for the next set of paintings,” she said.
Scott said a primary goal of his artwork is to increase awareness and investment in the natural world, and to draw attention to the urgency and importance of caring for the earth.
“The Earth doesn’t need us to survive, we need it. There’s an apparent mentality that it’s just one big endless resource that we can do with what we want,” Scott said. “She will shake us if we become too dangerous for her. We have to recognize it. »
Emily Scott’s Sacred Series of Acrylic Paintings will be on view at a private preview at Rim View Terrace on Thursday, April 7, 6-9 p.m. Tickets are $15 and are available at City Hall.