Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Rocky Shoreline

This 8" x 8" oil was begun late in the day near Santa Barbara. It is my third attempt at painting by the ocean. What beautiful and varied color there is along this sandy and rocky shoreline! I'd love to spend more time painting there.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Degrees of Separation

Here is another oil (11 x 14) painted on location during our recent trip to California. The mountainous area of the Los Padres National Forest north of Ojai was not my intended painting destination — the sunny coast. Instead, I wound up navigating switchbacks of the misty coastal range to the highest point along this stretch of highway. A creeping overcast sky and chilly autumn breeze were not what I expected on our trip to Beach Boys country. Weather like this might have been enough to stifle my creative urge if it hadn't been for the spectacular view.

During the time I spent painting at the pullout, the moody stillness was only rarely punctuated by a car far below, soon out of sight and then abruptly in my near space. There was also the seasoned cyclist who stopped to talk for a moment. He was completing his second trip of the day cycling up and down the mountain. I would still be there for his third and final time — his wife waiting to pick him up in the car just up the road. I would've been amazed had he been a younger man doing this sort of thing. He told me it was a regular routine for him. I, standing in one place for the duration with freezing hands, felt somehow shamed.

 "The mountains look different every time I am up here," he said. Probably so, but my memory of them will always be the mood of misty timelessness and space between places that are near, yet far.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ojai Evening — SOLD

Here is a 6" x 8" oil  painting I did in Ojai during a recent trip to the California coast. The sunlight was reflecting off the mist which was slowly drifting in from the coast during the waning hours of the day. This type of brilliant atmospheric effect is common here, but not in New Mexico where I am from. I love the mood it creates.

Location for this painting was on the beautiful grounds of Ojai Private Retreat.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

August Sky, Truchas

The incredibly scenic High Road to Taos passes through the old Hispanic settlement of Truchas.  Perched at an elevation of 8,400 feet, the town offers a panoramic view reminiscent of a scene from The Sound of Music. At least that's how I felt the first time I drove this route. Mountains on one side and a wide view of the valley and distant mountains on the other make you wonder how this place has remained a modest little village. I set up in town facing the drama that was unfolding between the sky and mountains to the east.  The 11" x 14" oil started out as a a plein air painting and was completed in the studio.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Summer Clouds study

This 11 x 14 oil  was completed in the studio. After the record rains we had recently in Albuquerque, only a few scattered showers remain. This could be the last of the summer rains. I'm sorry to see them go.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Church by the Tracks

This  9 x 12 oil painting is of the old shuttered church in Lamy, a small hamlet in northern New Mexico. With only a few buildings here, the "town" seems an odd place for the Amtrak to stop — miles away from Santa Fe, the nearest city. Churches are popular painting subjects here in New Mexico, but not ones I have been drawn to. I probably would have passed this one by if it hadn't been for the interesting vantage point from the other side of sloping grade and railroad tracks, where the base of the church appears above eye level. The view had a Hopperesque feel to it, lonely and deserted, and I felt compelled to paint it for the effect. I didn't want this to be a painting of a church, per se, so I ran the steeple off the top of the page, allowing the bottom part of the painting to share importance. The painting started out as a plein air piece and was completed in the studio.