Um, I think this is a nice way to end my day. I painted the sunset just how I like it, lots of drama up in the clouds, and sweet and simple at the horizon line. I would like to be laying under that tree right now!
A nice fall scene in one of my favorite places in the world, Taos, New Mexico. This is an autumn pasture with the Taos Mountains as a backdrop. It almost looks like the paint was laid on with a knife. Makes me want to take a day trip...
Okay, looking at this on the ocmputer, I can see there's something I need to fix. The red hills on the left side are too straight coming down. I need to mix up some more of the mountaintop color (the ochre) and cut it into the mountain to give it more depth. I won't post it again, you'll just have to come to the show to see the changes I made!
I have painted this house twice. It is one of my favorite places and I can see it during all of the seasons. If you live here, when you pass over the Paseo bridge, right before you get to Coors, there's a very large field off to your left. This little house sits in the background, It is so nondescript that you can almost overlook it. But I never do. Right now all of the trees are glorious green, as are the fields. I'm dying for a photo, but I have to have someone drive me, otherwise I will stop traffic with my slowness. Hope you enjoy.
Wow, it's nice to be in the 80's now. I am choreographing the last leg of my paintings - I have so many I still want to paint: People (lavender fields, grower's market, State Fair), Animals (buffalo, chickens, horses, sheep, birds), more landscapes, and maybe a couple of Nudes.
This painting reminds me of my grandmother's flowers, even though these are against an adobe wall and hers were probably against clap board or wood. The feeling is the same for me.
One of those beautiful irrigation ditches in Bernalillo that are so beautiful in the fall. The sky was what drew my attention to the scene, though. It was full of purples and a little more blue than what I put in. I didn't want the blue of the sky to compete with the blue of the irrigation water.
Hmm, I'm not sure if this one is finished or not. I keep wanting to do soemthing to the big flower; more shadows, more chiseled, more highlights, something. I'm going to leave it for a few days and take another look before I commit this one to its spot in the Challenge.
I loved painting these - I blocked everything in and used a palette knife on the sunflowers. It will probably take them forever to dry. I like the way the orange-red background plays against the green of the sunflower stems.
I am almost in the 80's - yay. I am always excited to get closer to the end, but sad too, that it will soon be over. But I do have 92 more to do, so I guess I can't be sad yet!
This is a set of autumn trees and looking at it now, I can see the color spot of sky in the dark green tree needs to also have a spot of purple showing the mountain. I also need a highlight on the greenery on the far left. Sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees. Hmm....
One of my all time favorite photos. I took this when a storm was coming and it looked like one of those beautiful paintings from artists of yesteryear. I think I did a pretty good job. If no one buys this, it's mine! Just kidding...
This is a view from Elena Gallegos - a nice paint out evening a few months ago. This is the side of the Sandias looking north. I still am not crazy about the way the paintings are photographing for the blog. I haven't hit on the right place to take them to get the best effect and color saturation and I don't like to play with them too much in the computer. So, just know they look nicer in person.
One day when I was up in Taos by myself, I decided to check out the Taos Pueblo. I went up, paid my money to take photos and started walking. The pueblo was so beautiful. What I didn't know is that there is a north and a south side to the pueblo and both sides are separated by this river/stream running right through the middle. This is the source of all the water for the pueblo. I must've taken over a hundred photos but I'm intimidated to tackle the pueblo itself. It's just magnificent.
The first painting of this subject, I did a few years ago. I've never been able to duplicate that painting - one patron told me that she had dreams about that painting, she liked it so much. I'll just keep trying...
You know, the coolest thing about doing this challenge is that I HAVE to finish the painting alla prima, all in one session. No going back to touch up, not a lot of planning and sketching. Just a quick loose sketch in paint and then I jump in. That's what makes it so challenging for me, there;s not a lot of thinking m there is just DOING.
One of my favorite churches on the back road to Santa Fe. This little church sits up on a hill and you can miss it if you don't know where it's at. This is the church before it was restuccoed in shades of brown and cream. I like it better this way, but will probably paint the new version too.
The photo I have of this scene is taken from a car window and haf of the window is in the photo! I had to mentally remove it and use my imagination to create the rest of this peaceful little adobe. I don't remember where this was, but you can pass a lot of little small quaint houses all along the way when you're traveling throughout New Mexico. I want to live here!
You know, you can photograph the Sandia Mountains a million times andthey never look the same. It all depends on the time of day, the light, the direction you're coming from. There are so many variables but I happen to like the "looking straight on" view and I think they look lovely with spring trees.
This painting was a blast to paint! So much variety, so many little notes of color. This is a particular garden spot at Los Poblanos Inn and Cultural Center in Los Ranchos, NM. The garden is surrounded by a beautiful adobe wall and has frog pottery and lots of beautiful tile work with fountains. We drove down there a couple of days ago - no pretty flowers yet.
These pears were actually from a tree in my yard. I planted it about 6 years ago and it bears pears every year but for some reason, they have a gritty aftertaste that makes you want to go brush your teeth right away. I do love how these turned out, nice and nestled together.
Okay, this was harder to paint than it looks. I was going for a beautiful blue sky windy day and my suns were going to be blowing in the breeze.
I started off with sketching in just the stems and where the leaves might go, then a round dot of prussan blue and asphaltum for the sunflower face. I started adding in the suns, using a mixture of cadmium orange and raw sienna. Then I put in the whites of the clouds. And lastly - and this is where I couldn't quite figure it out - the sky. I laid in a layer of cerulean blue with titanium white and my brush was so big that I hit the orange of the sunflowers and dulled up the sky. So I ended up mixing cobalt blue with white, which gave me a nice clean blue sky. I later went back and added in my cadmium yellow light for the brightness of the sunflowers. Hmm. I really like it, but I may have to try it again. It is hard working on a small painting with a big brush but it forces you to keep it simple and render that first impression.
(Interesing...when I looked at the painting after my post, I noticed a couple of things that I wanted to fix right away; the cloud in the upper right hand corner, it just looks kind of weird on the right side. No sunflower face on the sunflower in the lower left hand corner - how could I forget that? I think I will let this one dry completely, then take another look at it, and maybe make some adjustments)
Can you tell that I absolutely LOVED painting this painting? Blanketflowers are one of my all-time favorites to paint. They are not easy, even though they look fairly simple; basic shape,one color, yellow on the tips. I love the mass of color and the "jumbledyness" of the flowers. I think I just created a new word!
I love aspens so much, I wish I could grow them at my house, but they like higher elevations and a lot of water. This is fron a photo taken up by Los Alamos, NM, several years ago. A wonderful spring day.
I don't know if you guys remember, but this is a sunset taken from my front yard looking over the trees towards the Sandia mountains. It was really nice to able to just play with the colors, mixing and mingling to get the right effect. My favorite part of the painting is the dark left corner - very mysterious!
I could paint sunsets forever - they don't have to be vivid and dramatic like this one. I have photos of some that just show a tiny bit of light at the bottom and the rest of the sky is beautiful greys mixed with blues.
I think those are just as beautiful and I love painting them as well.
This painting is a composite of two photos - the sunset was one, the foreground landscape another. Quite a nice mix.
If you think like most plein air painters, fall of the year is the absolutely best time in the world to go around painting New Mexico. The colors are just unbelievable. When I went up to Taos last fall for the annual family gathering, I couldn't believe the colors up there. They just didn't look real. I've yet to paint any paintings from those photos, I guess I think people will think I'm making these colors up. I'll just have to post the photo along with the painting!
This is a view of a Placitas canyon taken a year or so ago. I like it.
The original photo of this painting, taken from a paint out at Elena Gallegos, is my computer screen saver and I see it every morning when I wake up. I don't think any photo can do that sunset justice. I expect I will paint several paintings from photos I took of this day. I hope you like this one.
I really love this one - I was so ready for spring and this just makes me want to take a picnic blanket and spread it out under these trees. I'm pretty sure I could lay down, look up and see the little birds in the trees and hear the bees buzzing!
Well, I tweaked it until I was happy with the overall effect. The painting as a whole needed more contrast, more composition, and not so many little color notes all over the place. Now it looks kind of "out of focus" and romantic! I added a little to the mystery of that day and I must admit, it looks much prettier in person.
On a day trip to Pecos last year, we happened upon this adorable little adobe church out in the middle of nowhere. There was a sign saying something about "Macho" and we looked it up and it's actually a little village - and I mean little! The church has no electricity. It's small and beautiful and they use lanterns inside for their light source. I'm thinking they don't have mass there very often - we couldn't even find it on the list of Catholic churches in NM.
There is a cute little cemetary right next door - very small, so I think it's probably just a couple of families who live in the area. I came home and told my husband that I had found the perfect little town for him - "macho!"