Tuesday, November 30, 2010

11.30.2010 ~ philmont summer, xiii — rayado clearing

— rayado clearing — philmont summer, xiii
— 6 x 6 inches — oil on panel — daily painting series
— copyright Dawn Chandler 2010

It's been a few weeks since I've been able to paint — globs of oil paint left on my palette are now firm with a skin of dried paint across their tops; my brushes, neglected, sit resting upright in their assorted tin cans along the edge of my large palette. (Which, I might add, brings me to note that one of the great tragedies of the movement by coffee roasters to package coffee in folding 'vacuum' bags is that it's harder and harder to find good coffee cans for storing stuff!)

Travel and other projects and obligations had kept me from my muse in the studio much of this autumn. But now, with a number of these commitments out of the way, I can return again to my passion.

It can always be a little intimidating getting back into painting if you've been away from it for a while. A subconscious questioning of "do I really have the skill to pull this off?" often harasses the mind. Depending on what else is going on in one's life, it's a question that can arise on a daily basis, even if one has been painting consistently. The fear of getting started is what it boils down to. That's always the biggest challenge: just getting started. So the important thing to do — the essential and critical thing — is to just do it. Get started.

I have several commissions lined up that I need to get done in the next few weeks. So to warm up my creative and painterly senses, I decided to simply just get started by doing a small landscape. Get the blood and paint flowing, so to speak. And flow it did! I'm pleased with how quickly this little one came together.

That's another thing I've noticed: often after taking a hiatus from painting, when I do finally pick up a brush again, I'm able to paint quite well and quickly. My eye for color seems more honed than before — kind of the opposite of what I would have expected. I would have thought I'd be rusty, but maybe my senses are simply rested and recharged? That, at least, seems to be the case this time around, and I'm grateful for it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

11.27.2010 ~ Baldy Mt in books and prints

Well this is kind of cool: My painting "Baldy from Miranda Meadow" which I did this past summer, now adorns the cover of the newly released book, Carry On! The Life Adventures of Joe Davis, Former Director of Camping, Philmont Scout Ranch. Written by James Sundergill, edited by Bill Cass it is published by the Philmont Staff Association — the alumni organization for which I was the executive director for several years some time back.

Baldy Mountain, standing 12,441 ft in elevation, is the highest peak on Philmont. I climbed it for the first time thirty years ago (!!), when I was fifteen, trekking across the Ranch for the first time with a group of great friends and my parents on a two-week backpacking trip. Climbing Baldy in the wee hours of a July morning was surely the hardest and most challenging thing I'd ever done up to that point in my life. The glory felt on the top of the peak just as the sun was breaking over the eastern planes is a cherished memory I hold to this day. Summitting that peak — just like I did three decades ago — is a crowning, life affirming achievement for thousands of kids and adults every year.
The mountain and it's surrounding area were acquired by the Scouts back in the 60s, during Joe Davis' tenure at Philmont, and was an especially beloved part of the Ranch to Mr. Davis. It therefore only seems appropriate that an image of the peak grace the cover of a book about the man. I'm pleased with how well the cover turned out. Indeed, I don't mind at all that the painting image was cropped considerably. It looks good!

The timing of the book's publication couldn't have been better, as I've just had giclee prints of the painting made.

For more details and to buy a print of Baldy from Miranda Meadow, click here.

For more details and to buy the Joe Davis book, "Carry On!', click here.

Friday, November 26, 2010

11.26.2010 ~ colorado afternoon

colorado afternoon, i
— 12 x 12 inches — oil on panel
— copyright Dawn Chandler 2010

Thanksgiving often finds me in Colorado, visiting family, but this year I decided to stay put in New Mexico and celebrate with special loved ones and friends here. Still, my thoughts this holiday often drifted northward to the Centennial State. Here then is a Colorado scene that I painted some time this past summer — "Colorado Afternoon" — based on a road trip I'd made through the Western Slope a couple of years ago.
...Need to do more Colorado scenes....