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Desert Survey

Driving north to Marble Canyon, AZ, along US-89.
Painter Logan Maxwell Hagege at dawn, preparing to capture the light and landscape.
Logan’s house is at the base of Vermilion Cliffs, a frequent backdrop to his work and a constant source of inspiration.
Setting up for the day, Logan assembles his paintbox. “I believe that an artist’s vision should evolve over time — self-examination is important for an artist. I am my toughest critic and am always trying to push myself from being too comfortable in the studio.”
Near Lee’s Ferry, huge boulders of conglomerate can break off, resulting in formations like this balanced rock.
Logan paints at dusk near Lee’s Ferry.
Before starting to work on canvas, Logan works out his compositions and ideas in sketchbooks.
Striding across the top of the wash in Paria Canyon, within the Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. Desert washes are similar to rivers, but only contain surface water for brief periods of time.
A closer look at the artist’s tools.
Logan reclines by the Colorado River in Lee’s Ferry, the official beginning of the Grand Canyon. It developed as an important crossing point in the 19th century and today is a favorite spot for fishing, boating, and rafting along the river.
Logan paints his longtime subject, Chesley Goseyun Wilson. This was Logan’s first time painting him from life in this location; “The process of painting Chesley in person is great, because of the immediate connection — there’s no disconnect from subject to canvas.”
The sketch of Chesley begins to take shape. The duo has been partners in this creative process for years — Logan’s love of the Arizona landscape evolved to encompass the people that live there, and Chesley’s family are often the focus of Logan’s paintings.
Chesley is an 87-year-old Apache luthier, flute maker, fiddle singer, dancer, medicine man, silversmith, and former model and actor — he received the National Heritage Fellowship in 1989, and in 1992 he was named an Arizona Indian Living Treasure.
Logan’s home, nestled at the base of the Vermilion Cliffs.
Stoking the fire as dusk falls, and the light fails. Logan frequently makes his trips to Arizona alone, intent on spending his time fully absorbed in the landscape.
Logan’s time in Marble Canyon is spent photographing and sketching, in preparation for completing his full paintings in Los Angeles — he’s been using his Best Made sketchbook to that end since 2015.
Logan’s time in Marble Canyon is spent photographing and sketching, in preparation for completing his full paintings in Los Angeles — he’s been using his Best Made sketchbook to that end since 2015.
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March 2019

Photography by Jason Frank Rothenberg

Artist Logan Maxwell Hagege woke up just before sunrise, ready to catch the light on the Vermilion Cliffs. His days in Arizona are spent capturing
the shifting sun and shadow in sketches and photographs, before jumping back in his car to seek new vistas. Logan lives and works in Los Angeles,
but makes the trip to his house in Marble Canyon, AZ about five times a year in search of inspiration for his paintings. When he found himself
wanting to include the people of the region in his work he connected with LeAnn, a student who introduced him to her uncle, Chesley Goseyun Wilson.
Chesley is an 87-year-old Apache and an artist in his own right. It was a chance meeting that sparked a rich creative partnership — Logan is conscious
of the power of his work to bring awareness to issues of native land conservation and representation. The two men have a remarkably strong
connection to one another, driven in part by a shared connection to the land around them.