Wednesday, October 27, 2010

10.27.2010 — rayado summer storm, i

rayado summer storm, i
10 panorama xiii
— 10 x 20 inches — oil on canvas
— copyright Dawn Chandler 2010

A summer's evening in June, looking out over Rayado to the not too distant Miami Mesa. We're at the junction of Hwy 21 and the Zastrow/Abreu road and looking south. The clouds were boiling cold with hail and rain, when finally they broke and swelled with color.

This is last of my panoramic landscape 'studies" that I created in response to a commission request by friends of mine. [details here]. I'm delighted to conclude this project with a strong painting. All of my paintings in this series have been good and satisfying, but for me, this last piece is my favorite of the series. I like the verity of the colors, the natural compliments therein, and the energy and freshness of the brushstrokes. Indeed, this painting came together quickly and confidently and to my eye, it shows.

I thoroughly enjoyed this panorama project and based on the inquires about and sales I've had of these works,
others seem to have enjoyed it, too. As a result, you can expect to see more panoramic paintings in the future!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

10.19.2010 ~ daybreak

10 panorama xii
— 10 x 30 inches — oil on canvas
— copyright Dawn Chandler 2010

Another panorama based on a photo taken by my friend, Douglas. This painting didn't feel as challenging to pull off as the previous one, mainly because I didn't feel quite as stumped by the colors. That's not to say capturing the sunlight highlighting the earthy ochres and browns of the New Mexico grasslands is easy! It's just that with practice I'm getting a little more skilled at finding that certain brownish-ochre-gold tone with my paints.

On the left, the larger mountain mass is Urraca Mesa. We're looking down a fence line, with the road off to the right.

Monday, October 11, 2010

10.12.10 ~ morning rising across the sangres

morning rising on the sangres (tooth ridge)
10 panorama xi
— 10 x 30 inches — oil on canvas
— copyright Dawn Chandler 2010

The view here is of a fond stretch of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Northern New Mexico — most notably a section of Philmont range, starting with Urraca Mesa on the far left followed by the north side of Tooth Ridge jutting in at an angle.

My friend Douglas took the panoramic photograph that this photo is based on. I've been cursing him ever since he sent me the photo. What a struggle trying to get the color of those mountains and the highlights upon them right! [Perpetual thought to self while painting: "What the heck color IS that anyway?!?"] I can assure you that whatever colors you think they are, you're wrong, because I tried them and they didn't look right! Ack!

And then the sky posed a further challenge: a perfectly clean and crisp gradient of white to blue, without a fleck of anything save a short line of rose clouds near the peaks. I painted it just like it appears in the photo, with a smooth clean surface, but found it.....boring. So I went it with some denser paint and a loose hand, adding some texture to the sky, as well as a larger cloud presence. The result? A much more satisfying and lively surface, and an ultimately more convincing atmospheric feel to the sky.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

10.06.2010 ~ taos mountain sunset

taos mountain sunset light (winter)
10 panorama ix
— 12 x 16 inches — oil on canvas
— copyright Dawn Chandler 2010

There's something sensual about the curves of the Taos foothills, when banked in snow. Though the surface is icy, in the glow of the setting sun, the folds and contours radiate warmth.

I guess come winter, that's what we all do, except our warmth radiates from the inside.