Hovenweep means in the Paiute and Hopi language "deserted valley." The 20-square-mile area of Hovenweep National Monument, straddling Utah and Colorado, was once farms and fields cultivated by the Ancestral Puebloans. There are now only several ruins of high towers, dating from the mid-13th century. I painted Hovenweep Castle under a sunny sky in peace and quiet last August.
The hill in the background was darker than the green slope in the middle ground, so I had painted as I saw. My teacher, Sara Linda Poly, told me to forget what I saw and to paint over it with a pale mauve glaze. Now it is settled back where it should be. Paint what you see, but also paint what you know. An important lesson.