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Sights and Sounds of Sedona – Week 1 (Travel and Art Journal)

This post is written to keep you up to date on my journey as the Vagabond Artist and also, hopefully, to inspire you to explore your own creative journey and show how you can make art while traveling.


The more recent history of Sedona began in 1876 as a ranching and farming settlement. Previously, like 10,000 years ago, the area was home to Native Americans who left the area for unknown reasons approximately 500 years ago. Many of their ruins are still visible and some are accessible today.

Montezuma’s Castle

Hollywood Connection

Filmmaking in Sedona began in 1923. Since then, more than 100 films have been recorded in the area. Famous actors include John Wayne, Joan Crawford, James Stewart, and Elvis Presley, among others, made films here. The iconic Red Rock formations give a sense of authenticity to Western films. Each year, Sedona hosts a film festival.

A photo of John Wayne from the movie Angel and the Bad Man showing one of the films made in Sedona, AZ
Angel and the Bad Man starring John Wayne

New Age Connection

Sedona is also thought to be the location of several vortices. What is a vortex? Sedona vortices described as centers of energy that are conducive to healing, meditation and self-exploration. These are places where the earth seems especially alive with energy. The concept has been commercialized and you will find several businesses offering vortex tours, aura readings, psychic readings, etc.

Sedona is a magical place; I will admit to that. True story – one location thought to contain a vortex is Boynton Canyon. My husband and I took a hike there a few years back and took a photograph of an intriguing rock cairn. The photograph below shows a beam of light that we didn’t see at the time but showed up in the photo!

Light Shining on the Rock Cairn to show the vortex mystery
Light Shining on the Rock Cairn

Sedona Music Scene

Sedona has a lively music scene. The main street has several musical devices installed for anyone to use. Many street musicians perform routinely. One of the best locales to listen to eclectic music is Sound Bites grill. 

Scandalous Hands

Los Abrogados and Tlaquepaque

We are staying in Los Abrogados. The location couldn’t be better.  It’s walking distance to Tlaquepaque, Uptown Sedona, and the shopping center called Hillside.  I selected a few highlights to paint in my travel/art journal from the views nearby.  The first is the view from my room.

An art journal painting of the view from a room at Los Abrogados resort in Sedona, Arizona
View from my room at Los Abrogados

The second is an attempt to capture the awesome scenery and red rocks. 

Watercolor Painting of Iconic Sedona Red Rock Formation
Watercolor Painting of Iconic Sedona Red Rock Formation

Next on the Agenda

One more week in Sedona. The Sedona Arts Center is hosting a plein air “paint-out” and I hope to be able to catch one in action. I have a few more Sedona scenes I’d like to paint in my travel/art journal before we head south to Oro Valley for two months. I hope I can set up an actual studio area to work on bigger paintings.

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