Thursday, September 23, 2010

09.23.2010 ~ summer storm breaking over rayado canyon

summer storm breaking over rayado canyon
10 panorama x
— 10 x 20 inches — oil on canvas
— copyright Dawn Chandler 2010

I admit that I love this painting. For I think it captures on a relatively small scale the "big sky" and "land of enchantment" realities of the landscape out here — those very qualities that haunt the dreams and imagination of anyone who has ever been to New Mexico.

The view here is from the Miami Lane, the dirt road that runs perpendicular to the Philmont range of mountains — about 7 miles east of the Ranch and Cimarron. I took the photo that this is based on several years ago, on a beautiful June evening. We're looking west toward Rayado Canyon....

I've done several paintings based on this scene, this one being my favorite, so far.

I'm thinking this one definitely needs to be done on a larger scale....

Monday, September 20, 2010

09.20.2010 ~ evening in the sandias, ii

evening in the sandias, ii
10 panorama vi
— 12 x 16 inches — oil on canvas
— copyright Dawn Chandler 2010

Here again, the evening sun casting an almost metallic-like glow to the Sandias. The sagebrush, desert grasses and cactus varying in hues of silver, copper, gold, ocre, umber.

My favorite part of this painting is the couple of small brushmarks of orange in the sky, suggesting a glimmer of highlighted clouds breaking through. That, and further above, where blue sky breaks through the mass of purple-gray clouds:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

09.18.2010 ~ evening in the sandias, i

evening in the sandias
10 panorama viii
— 12 x 16 inches — oil on canvas
— copyright Dawn Chandler 2010

I've come to love the trails of the Sandia Mountains that grace Albuquerque's eastern edge. Supposedly they are named "Sandia" — the Spanish word for "watermelon" — because, when soaked in the light of the setting sun, they take on the deep amethyst color of watermelon. More often though I find the color of Albuquerque's evening mountains to glow hues of orange or copper.

Here is looking north from the Copper Trail, on one such fiery evening. Intriguing to me is the contrast between the hard, rugged mountains, and the delicate, soft clouds.
Note the distant mountain on the right: that's all "underpainting." I had intended to paint over that thin wash with denser paint, but after building up the areas around it, I realized I didn't need to cover it up. The sketchy umber underpaint described the distant craggy peak just right.
I love it when that happens.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

09.14.2010 ~ taos mountain sunset (first snow)

taos mountain sunset (first snow)
10 panorama vii
— 10 x 20 inches — oil on canvas
— copyright Dawn Chandler 2010

A rainbow of colors....and yet it's real. For those who have never been to New Mexico and wonder what people are talking about when they speak of "the light" out here, this is it. Nothing quite like Taos Mountain capturing the light of the setting sun, especially when there' some fresh snow on the peak. And here it is from one of my favorite view points (and everyone else's) — the edge of that beautiful expansive field that lies north between Hwy 64 and the mountains in El Prado.

I think my favorite part of this painting is something you can't really see in this photo (see detail below): It's where when I was scraping some of the bluey-purple paint across the sky with my palette knife, I accidentally left two "shadows" of the knife's edge visible in the sky. Actually, to call it an "accident" is incorrect; I surely saw the marks but decided to leave them. Evidence of the artist's tools.

Monday, September 13, 2010

09.13.2010 — the panoramas

Over the course of the next few days I'll be posting some horizontally-aligned, traditional landscape paintings done in oil. Though I occasionally do some horizontal landscapes (and have even posted a few this summer), the horizontal composition remains fairly unusual for me. Rather, I've established a bit of a reputation for vertically- or squarely-formatted paintings.

So why the rash of horizontal landscapes?
Because I've received a commission, that's why. :)

Collector-friends have requested a large horizontally-formatted landscape to adorn a spacious wall of their beautiful dining room. The room is lovely and warm, decorated as it is with a Frank Lloyd Wright/Mission flair. My friends are seeking a peaceful scene, and are drawn to the warm colors they've seen in some of my other paintings. Beyond this, they are open to whatever I might come up with.

So I'm creating a selection of small landscapes that fit (more or less) these parameters. With any luck I'll hit upon something they really like, and will then do a much larger version to grace their dining room wall. It's a fun and exciting project that I've been working off and on for the past few weeks.

I'm pleased to be making strides with these little landscapes.
Here are a two panoramas that I completed earlier this summer and posted here already, but which happen to fall into the parameters mentioned above — namely, peaceful + warm colors. Fine as these paintings are, they don't quite fit the bill of what I have in mind for my friends. More sky, I think: they need more sky. Still, I'll include these in the portfolio that I'll be sharing with my friends.

baldy sunset (10 panorama, ii)
— 10 x 20 inches — oil on canvas
— copyright Dawn Chandler 2010

end of the day over the philmont range (10 panorama, v)
— 10 x 20 inches — oil on canvas
— copyright Dawn Chandler 2010

One more panorama that I posted earlier. While this one doesn't really fall under the parameters outlined above (too much bright blue probably for what they are looking for), it's one of my favorites. I think it captures well the expansive feeling of the landscape, the warmth of the day, and the building clouds.

midday on the range (10 panorama, iv)
— 8 x 16 inches — oil on canvas
— copyright Dawn Chandler 2010

Tomorrow, some new panoramas!