Fall 2022 Inspiration: The Grotto

If you missed it, or if you're new to the Vannucci scene - this past winter I moved from Philadelphia, PA to Las Vegas, NV.  I lived in Philly the past 15 years, and in Pennsylvania most of my life.  When I would share with someone my intentions for this move while I was still on the east coast, I would get varying reactions.  Most would wrinkle their nose, "Las Vegas??" they'd inquire, the italics and multiple question marks strongly insinuated.

I learned that when people think of Las Vegas, they think of the movie version of Las Vegas.  An entire city and culture and landscape all simplified, represented by a single road in the south central side of town: The Strip.  Most locals don't even go near the strip.  Now for me, Las Vegas was about access to nature.

Look at a map if you don't believe me!  There are 13 close national parks.  Red Rock Canyon is 25 min from my front door.  Hot springs dot the state.  Mexico is less than seven hours away.  LA is four.  Not to mention the myriad of different landscapes you'll pass through on each trip (surprise! It's not just desert).  I've been here six months now, and my favorite trip has been Zion National Park (three hours away!), specifically this very special area of the park called the Grotto.  The Grotto is not only serene in itself, you can also get spectacular views of the valley if you take any of the three trailheads that begin nearby and trace up the cliffs.The Grotto Zion National Park

I had actually been to Zion National Park once before, in the fall of 2020, when my brother and I camped around Utah and Colorado for a little while, trying to wear down some of the covid boredom while still making a real attempt at safety.  During that time everything was a very harvest-time palette, lots of fir tree green and aspen yellow.  This time I noticed a different variety of colors - the ombre of golden then red then brown mountains, the soft green of the trees near the blue river.  The shimmering gray shadows the puffy clouds and towering mountains cast over different parts of the valley.  The cliff faces in parts of this trail are just COVERED in greenery, with columbines and other flowers adding color, breaking up the almost overwhelming green.

The Grotto Trail Zion National Park

Woman sitting next to a creek

Zion national park plants growing on the cliff wall

It was this combination of colors that really spoke to me, and was still on my mind when I sat down to create this Fall's collection.  I started out with some very flashy labradorite.  It reminded me of the way the light reflected on the river as the sun played hide and seek.  I added in some deep blue kyanite, reddish rhodolite garnet, and andalusite.  The green tones were difficult, but I actually decided upon the milky light green of prehnite.  It really bright some brightness to the colorway.  After expanding on the reddish and autumnal tones with tundra sapphire, and filling in with a few other shades, the vibe felt as rich and expansive as the valley floor.

Let me know your thoughts about Zion National Park (what's your favorite hike or part of the park??) or the new collection!

zion national park

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