On the first part of the journey
I was looking at all the life
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
There was sand and hills and rings
A Horse With No Name
I was in the high desert of Joshua Tree National Park for the plants and birds and rocks and yes even the things.
I always enjoyed sketching sculpture and architecture because unlike animals, they ain’t going anywhere soon. The rock formations of JT are nature’s sculptures and sketching them is a desert meditation where you lose yourself in the lines and contours of weathered rock and at the end of the sketch you come away understanding that rock just a little bit more.
On my second visit to Joshua Tree in two years, I focused much of my sketching time on rocks, some famous like Arch Rock and Skull Rock but others that bear no known name. I named these rocks such as Repose Rock (above) but I’m sure other visitors have given it other names. Jelly Bean Rock seems like a likely canidate.
Skull Rock is probably one of the most visited sights in JT. I suspect one reason is that the rock bears an uncanny resemblance to a human skull, the other is that is about 20 feet off the main road and does not require a hike or even a brisk walk to see it.
Here is a self-named rock that I sketched in the popular rock climbing destination called Hall of Horrors. This I call Balanced Rock and in the sketch I also included some of the plants and some of the “things” but no “rings”.