This is the last of my 3 day Southwest series. I have to say, though, that I may continue to do some more later this week. The desert makes me think of one my favorite painters, Edgar Payne. His desert paintings are stunning. If you haven't seen his work check it out on Google, you wont be disappointed.
I was reminiscing over some photos of a family trip out Southwest today. It has already been a few years, but I remember my experience of being there for the first time as if it were yesterday. We may as well have taken a trip to another planet, for the scenery was so different from the part of the country we grew up with. Some that travel often may take these differences for granted. As for me, I have only been to a handful of places and will hopefully add to that throughout my life.
Anyway, I really was inspired and did a series of 3 landscape paintings that I will post Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Impressions of the Southwest.
This scene could be quite mundane for some. But, to me, just about anything in the warm glow of the setting sun is quite beautiful.
Railroad crossings, especially today unfortunately, are nothing more than an inconvenience to most. Having to wait on the train with a million things to do. But, to some of us the memories of days past, when the train transformed transportation. I am of a younger generation. A steam locomotive was quite rare to see actually going down the tracks. Boy, when it did, you knew it. The deep rumble and that whistle. No mistaking that sound. I get goose bumps thinking about it. The rails will always be romantic to me. Of course, I am a boilermaker's daughter, whose dad shared his love for the steam engine.
Sometimes it is too easy to get caught up in the detail of what you are "recording" especially in plein air painting. This one of course is not on location today (snowy January) but alla prima. When I finished I stepped back to realize there was one cloud much larger than the others. hmm..if I were more aware at the moment I might of consciously changed it. I still could change it, but I would hate to discriminate ;)
The colors of winter or should I say lack of. With less color this time of year, you are challenged to really look at the variation in what is there. Most times, especially with overcast skies, people complain of the dreary, gray winter days. The lack of sun can make one feel down, but if you go out and look away from the gross, slushy, gray parking lots, there is a beauty of winter like no other time of year. Stay warm!
I am pleased with this little one. Mostly because it is one of my favorite subjects, my familiar...rural landscapes in the summer. I am like the warm colors against the cool sky and road. The simplified yet still interesting quadrants of this square layout. Sometimes they just come together with joy and you have to savor those moments because the process of a painting is not always as joyous, more times than not they can be a struggle and learning experience! This was on our way to the lake for a camping weekend last summer.
You may have noticed similarities in the brushwork of the last few paintings. I have been playing around with a small brush with a long handle rather than the medium to larger brushes I usually use. I have been trying to stand back with arm extended holding the brush like an extension of my arm rather than tightly like a pencil and using the wrist. These technical things make a difference. Keeps the work loose and free. With the smaller brush, however, slows me down a bit to fill that panel with thoughtful yet playful strokes. The brushstrokes felt like individual musical notes coming together to form one shape. I am having fun putting more thought into these things and letting the paint fly! Helps to keep things fresh.
I am trying to stick with the minimum of brushstrokes here and still capture the quickly moving clouds and changing light. The pink light of the sunrise was on the dew of the grass for mere minutes then gone.
A challenge in light and dark of dusk. The sky was still quite bright and the almost silhouetted subjects had lovely color in the dark shadows. Of course getting a decent pic of this is a challenge in itself. In reality the painting has lovely greens and the blue doesn't "glow" as much as it is here in the foreground. This was a fun exercise.
The shadow of a century old barn gave reprieve to the chickens from the hot summer sun. I am sure they thought they died and went to heaven when some old apples were cast their way. I had fun with this one. I love these silly little animals!
A fleeting moment one day last summer now becomes a sweet memory this cold day in January. The warm gusts of wind were blowing the tall grasses like the waves on the ocean, very mesmerizing.
Stay warm out there!