Tuesday, September 30, 2008

my vacation: Santa Fe - Pink Adobe

Pink Adobe - 7 x 10 - watercolor
This building had a sign that said 'Pink Adobe. I think it was a little restaurant and gift shop. It was directly across the street from San Miguel chapel, the oldest church in America - right in downtown Santa Fe. We sat on the concrete embankment next to the old church and painted Pink Adobe. It was fairly early in the morning and the sun was shining on the building. It seems so many buildings in Santa Fe are this lovely pinkish red color. I mixed Burnt Sienna and Alizarin Crimson to get this color. Here's a photo of the actual building. Here's Allan's painting of the building.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

my vacation: Santa Fe - another Pedernal

View of the mountain next to The Pedernal - 7 x 10 - watercolor
This isn't The Pedernal, it's a mountain just south of it. I tried to capture the evening colors but the light was changing very fast. The location we were painting at was the same one we'd painted the previous day, when we painted The Pedernal. As evening drew near, the sky began to change into beautiful colors; oranges and purples and greys. We snapped some pictures. This painting doesn't begin to capture how beautiful it looked. I wish I could go back there. New Mexico is a magical place.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

my vacation: Santa Fe - Two Pedernals

The Pedernal - 5 x 7 (top), 7 x 10 (bottom) - watercolor
Here's my next post on my painting vacation to Santa Fe, New Mexico. On our second day we visited Abiquiu, the small town where Georgia O'Keeffe had her winter home. We met Leo Garcia, whose father was Miss O'Keeffe's chaeuffer and gardener. Leo is a woodcarver with a small gallery in Abiquiu. He gave us directions to Abiquiu Reservoir, with one of the most magnificent views of the Pedernal.
The Pedernal is the flat-topped mountain that Georgia O'Keeffe painted over and over again. According to the book I bought, The Genizaro & The Artist, by Leo's father Napoleon Garcia, Miss O'Keeffe believed that if she painted The Pedernal enough times, she could have it. As it turns out, when she died in 1986 her ashes were scattered across the top of this mountain. (I wonder whose job it was to do that?)
We returned several times to paint at this location. The Pedernal was very beautiful, and Abiquiu Reservoir had a covered picnic table (very handy for painting) and restrooms. These are two small paintings I did of The Pedernal, en plein air, at Abiquiu Reservoir.
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Thanks for sharing my vacation!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

my vacation: Santa Fe - view from Abiquiu Reservoir

View from Abiquiu Reservoir - 5 x 7 - watercolor
I promised you artwork from my trip to Santa Fe, and here's the first one. Allan and I spent a week touring Georgia O'Keeffe country in and around Santa Fe, New Mexico. It is surely the most beautiful place in America. One of our favorite painting spots was Abiquiu Reservoir, a scenic lake maintained by the Corps of Engineers, and the location for many of Georgia O'Keefe's paintings of The Pedernal, a majestic, flat topped mountain she loved. This view is opposite of that view.
If you're wondering who Georgia O'Keeffe is, here's a Wikipedia article. She is an artist I greatly admire. We enjoyed a tour of her house in Abiquiu, visiting her museum in Santa Fe, and painted at some of the scenic locations she loved, including Ghost Ranch (all referenced in the above article). She died in 1986.
So all-in-all, it was the best vacation of my life. Here's the photo I took of the location where I made this painting, and all my Santa Fe photos.

Monday, September 22, 2008

my vacation: Indian Beach - Ecola State Park - Cannon Beach

Indian Beach - watercolor - 5 x 7 (both)
I had a well-deserved week of vacation and Allan and I went to Indian Beach at Ecola State Park in Cannon Beach (Oregon) for one day. We wanted to practice with our paints in preparation for our trip to Santa Fe. These are the two small paintings I did that day. My watercolors consisted of a new mini-set of Winsor Newton Cotman travel watercolors especially for travelling. They turned out to be pretty handy for small paintings. Afterwards we ate clam chowder and drank beer at Mo's!
Stay tuned for the paintings and photos from my trip to Santa Fe. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

View from Martins Bluff Cemetery

View from Martins Bluff Cemetery - 11 x 14 - oil on panel
It's been about three weeks since Allan and I visited Martins Bluff Cemetery just south of Kalama and painted the view looking towards Portland. This is my painting from that day. In the foreground you can see I-5, with a little car whizzing by. The only thing I didn't include is the big ship that went by while I was painting. It was hard to capture (I can never get the ship's shape correct). So I left it out.

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Dancer, after Gustav Klimt

The Dancer, after Gustav Klimt - oil on canvas - 24" x 36"
Tiny detail from The Dancer - oil on panel - 5" x 7"
It's funny sometimes how paintings are born. For months, I've had all these wind paintings swirling around in my head, just itching to get started: Harvest Wind, White Creek Wind, Morning Wind. All I need are more hours in the day, or maybe to give up sleep. I've been frustrated over when exactly I'd feel motivated enough to get started. Then the weekend after the wedding I walked into my bedroom and noticed a blank spot on the wall where Allan had hung a painting then moved it away. The hanging hardware was poking out and it came to me--bam--that spot needs a painting. In keeping with my Klimt bedroom theme, which already has 'Danae' above the bed, I realized I had to paint The Dancer. And fifteen minutes later I was laying it out on the canvas and roughing in the values. Switched gears, just like that, after agonizing for months over which wind painting to start next, and how big, and which colors to use, blah, blah, blah. Sometimes you can't plan a painting. It just has to happen. So here it is, stage one: values. When it gets some color, I'll post it again and you can decide if switching painting plans at the speed of light was worth it after all.
Oh, the little one is a 5 x 7 study of a small portion of the painting. I like to try out colors and brushstrokes on a little study while I'm doing the larger painting. I end up with two-for-one, and sometimes the little one turns out better than the big one!