Friday, February 6, 2009


Agathla (a-GOTH-la) is a formation that stands in the southern entrance to Monument Valley in northeastern Arizona. The name is Najavo for "The place of the scraping of the hides."* Apparently, sheep are sometimes shorn here. (By the way, the name the Navajo call themselves is Diné (dee-NEH), which means "The People").

I love Monument Valley. I think the Diné are fortunate indeed to live in a place with such a spiritual presence. The People have a special connection with the land, and when you're in areas like this, it's easy to understand why.

This painting is a portrait of Agathla. It had been raining on and off that day. I dramatized the lighting somewhat to give the formation a sense that it's alive. The size is 8" x 10"/20cm x 25cm.

*Monument Valley: The Story Behind the Scenery, KC Publications (1992), p.18

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