The stunning acrylic paintings of southern Utah’s red rock surroundings drew many eyes at last weekend’s Western Legends Roundup. Those who live here can recognize some of the locales...Hole in the Rock and Red Canyon.

Escalante artist Lynn Griffin’s paintings celebrate the place we are fortunate to call home.

“We grew up in Escalante,” explained wife Judy Griffin, the subject of most of her husband’s art. He has artwork in many personal collections throughout the country, as well as public places in southern Utah. He has artwork in Panguitch, Bryce Canyon, and a mural at the Heritage Center in Escalante. Griffin’s work has also been featured in the LDS magazine Ensign. “Most of his backgrounds are around Escalante. He does a lot of research on its history.”

Lynn worked full-time for the National Guard in Salt Lake in the 70s. They tapped him for doing portraits of generals.

“He called me from work after a particularly frustrating day,” said Judy, “and asked me, ‘do you mind if I quit my job?’”

Lynn Griffin has been painting professionally since 1977, when the couple took that step. They moved back to Escalante, and Lynn has been painting ever since.

While he has done numerous commissions in his career (paid to paint a certain thing or setting), he likes to work with his own creativity.

As a self-taught artist, Griffin discovered years ago a knack for drawing and artistic canvas expressions. “My work is family-inspired. They all ran cattle and when I moved back. I helped with permits,” said Lynn Griffin. “I mostly do (in his artwork) cowboys and critters. I’m blessed to be in the middle of amazingly-beautiful country. I thought the whole world looked like this!”

Ruby’s Inn is a prime market for Griffin’s work. His extraordinary painting on red rock is a hot item, with demand practically exceeding product.

Their involvement in Western Legends began when it first started. “My husband and son actually played in a band featured at the event. Lynn thought it might provide a good venue for his artwork.”

Lynn and Judy have shown the paintings here since then. “It has always been a great show for us.”