Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Friday, October 14, 2016

hello again ~ greetings from my santa fe studio

Greetings on a glorious autumn day here in Santa Fe.

Not sure who — if anyone — will see this.... But thanks for reading if you find it.

I moved my main blog to Wordpress a couple of years ago, when I created my new website (which, by the way, I'm utterly delighted with — check out my website here and my blog here).

But a knowledgeable little bird has suggested I share my blog posts on this platform, too, as time permits, just to reach more people who might be interested in my art and haven't yet found me via other links.

So... Hello again. And welcome.

I'm not sure what I'll do here — whether I'll simply copy my crafted posts from my "real" blog posted over on my website.... Or let this be something a little different... 
Hmmm... Will have to gnaw on that a bit.

For now though, here's a glimpse into my studio this fine day, with some of my recent "textual landsscapes" up on the wall. These all measure 24" x 48", with the one on the easel 24" x 24".

Friday, November 07, 2014

my october: a mink, two moose and a baldy eagle

a pair of wyoming moose. photo by dawn chandler

A mink, two moose and a baldy eagle.

That’s who I spent my October with.

They, and seven of the best creative minds  I could ever hope to meet.
We were living at the mouth of a small valley, where the open range-land ripples as it abuts the nearby mountains, and the valley narrows to a short rocky neck, before opening again to vast hidden fields. A large, wide and mellow trout stream courses along the base of pinon-studded hills, filling our days and nights with river-song, its water seeping into willow marshes, nurturing colonies of cottonwoods and drifts of aspen. Each day for twenty-four days, I meditated along this water, sketched under these golden canopies, explored up these arid draws, and stood in awe of these eery outcrops of rocks.

They climbed through the stony landscape, limestone beds eroded by wind into fantastic furniture, stale gnawed bread crusts, tumbled bones, stacks of dirty folded blankets, bleached crab claws and dog teeth — Annie Proulx, The Half-Skinned Steer

If quiet and still, I might catch a glimmer — and be blessed by — a rare animal spirit. Mink. Moose. Eagle. Hawk.

Other times, I might ramble, or sit and share with new friends; their laughter and tales humoring and inspiring me.

Mostly though, I painted.
And painted.
And painted.

For I was an artist in residence at the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts.
Located on the west side of the Medicine Bow mountain range fifty-some miles west of Laramie and sixteen miles southeast of Saratoga, Brush Creek Ranch and the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts sprawls across 30,000 of prime Wyoming range-land and hill country. A working cattle ranch as well as a luxury resort, Brush Creek Ranch established its artist residency program in 2009.

Home to four beautiful fine art studios, two writers studios, and two music studios — plus comfortable accommodations — “Artist Camp” is its own little ranch resort of creativity, with meals, lodging, and studios provided free of charge for its artist residents. Invited to stay for 2-, 4-, or 6-week sessions, we are each encouraged to live and breathe Wyoming; to hike and explore, read, dream and imagine, make new friends, and let our creativity soar.

With a network of trails coursing the ranch, we were welcome to explore by foot or bike. Most times when I did this — which was daily — I saw no one; not a soul. But for the trails and fences, I came to feel as though this place were mine:
My river.
My path.
My cottonwoods.

the mellow brush creek of wyoming. photo by dawn chandler

How to capture it? I spent 24 days trying to do just that, with some 2000 photos, 20 sketches and 30 paintings to show for it. Still, I’m perplexed and moved and haunted by this land of Wyoming. I’ll be sharing much of this in the coming days, but for now, here’s a little slideshow I’ve put together to try to convey a sense of the Wyoming landscape I all too briefly got to call home.
slideshow: a wyoming october — four weeks at the brush creek foundation for the arts. 
click on the image to view the slideshow.

Heartfelt thanks to the staff and founders of Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, who provides all of this for free to select artists.
And special thanks too, to my fellow residents:
Writers Helen Hooper and Ira Sukrungruang
Musicians/Composers Jonathan Kolm and David Dominique
Fine Artists Maren Jensen, Karrie Hovey and Susan Grinels

It’s been — truly — a pleasure.

And a special note to my Blog readers: It's good to be back. Note though that in just a few days I'll be moving my blog away from Blogger, to WordPress. More news about that to come. But I'm pretty darned excited about the change, and hope you will be, too. With deepest appreciation I thank you for reading me here; your attention to my words and thoughts is precious. I hope you'll continue to follow me over on WordPress.

Monday, October 06, 2014

mirrorless paintings of leaves and glass ~ my last post... for a while.

photograph by dawn chandler of dale chihuly glass sculpture at the denver botanic gardens, october 2014.

"Ohhhhhhh.... That hurts. That's so sad," the man at the table next to me said when my camera hit the cement floor of the Santa Fe Baking Company last Sunday.

"It's okay; it's durable," I said, noting that the camera appeared to be totally intact.

But later that afternoon when I went to take another picture, it very definitely wasn't okay: my 7-year old Cannon Powershot was busted.

And, wouldn't you know it, in just few days I was to embark on a journey that, for an artist, is unimaginable without a camera: One month of painting, hiking and — I'd hoped — photography in the heart of a western mountain range. [Details about THAT in a future post!].

I needed a replacement camera N O W.

I started looking up cameras online, and was utterly and completely overwhelmed. Yeah I had this sweet little Cannon, But really? I had grasped little about photography and cameras since my Photography-101 with a Pentax K 1000 continuing education class in Berkeley c.1989 back in my deli-girl days between college and grad school. And I sure as heck didn't have time to start educating myself now about cameras.

I closed my eyes and slowly started to rub my temples, in an attempt to stave off the headache that was about to descend.

And then it occurred to me: Ask my FaceBook Photography peeps for advice. For lucky for me, I'm connected to quite a few gifted photographers.

Jump seven days and I find myself the owner of a Fujifilm X-M1, a whiz-bang of a "mirrorless" digital camera that's — OH. MY. GOSH. — such an upgrade from my little pocket camera.


W O W.

And what better place to give it a real test run than the
Dale Chihuly glass sculpture installation at the Denver Botanic Gardens? I can think of none.

And so.... I part from you for some weeks with this cheerful slide show I've created of a glittering autumn morning. Enjoy!

p.s.: I'll be back in touch in early November with tons of new paintings, photographs, insights, and a whole new website and blog base. See you then!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

10.01.14 ~ four autumn mornings

I can't resist. I've got to be up there among them. To lose myself among the gold coins of leaves — a world's ransom of gold leaf.

My new home in town gives me a fine vantage point from which to observe the mountains and their mood. And so it was one day early last week when I looked up there and saw the first hint of yellow. 

The aspens were turning.

With a stress-inducing "To Do List" on my mind it was all I could do: Just look up there.

..One day.

..Two days.

..Three days.

And then I couldn't take it anymore; I had to get up there.

That night I laid out our gear, my pup's and mine. 

And at sunrise we were making the climb up toward the gold....

One day...

Two days...

Three days....

Four in a row

santa fe aspens, i ~ by dawn chandler ~ oil on panel (en plein air) ~ 5" x 7" ~ copyright dawn chandler 2014

santa fe aspens, ii ~ by dawn chandler ~ oil on panel (en plein air) ~ 5" x 7" ~ copyright dawn chandler 2014

santa fe aspens, iii ~ by dawn chandler ~ oil on panel (en plein air) ~ 5" x 7" ~ copyright dawn chandler 2014

santa fe aspens, iv ~ by dawn chandler ~ oil on panel (en plein air) ~ 5" x 7" ~ copyright dawn chandler 2014