Sunday, September 30, 2012

09.30.2012 ~ sunset light on glorietta mesa (x2)

sunset light over glorietta mesa, i  ~ oil on panel ~ 8 x 10 inches ~ by dawn chandler ~ copyright dawn chandler 2012

Last evening's view from my balcony, looking east toward Glorietta Mesa.*

It's funny: I painted the first one as quickly as I could what with the wind whipping up, me getting oil paint all over my hands, and the light shading rapidly to grey as a massive bank of clouds moved in behind me. Disappointed in the fading of the light, but relatively satisfied with my little painting (my 3rd attempt at plein air painting in many years!) I deemed it finished, gathered my brushes, packed up my paint box, and carefully walked down the outside stairs from my balcony to my studio. I was swishing my brushes in fresh turps getting ready to wash and retire them for the evening, when I looked up at the window only to see the setting sunlight beaming brilliantly across the hills. QUICK!! I gathered up my brushes and box again, darted up the stairs, praying the light would last as I started a second painting...

Sure enough.

sunset light over glorietta mesa, ii  ~ oil on panel ~ 8 x 10 inches ~ by dawn chandler ~ copyright dawn chandler 2012

*If you've read Hampton Side's excellent book, Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West, then you know much of the history of the US conquest of New Mexico happened right here at Glorietta Mesa, within plain view of my bedroom. In fact, I'm quite sure Kit Carson himself walked right over my septic tank.


William Van Doren said...

Dawn, these are wonderful paintings, and plein air suits you. I had to comment because, as a sunset painter (every one since 1-1-2006, plus earlier), this has happened to me so many, many times. What I do now is cruise around the fields here (Virginia) taking in the various amazingly changeable phases of the sunset until I'm satisfied I've got the one I want to work with, then go inside and paint it (at 13 x 19). I admire your work and I love New Mexico and memories of once walking in Kit Carson's steps (no septic tanks that I know of).

Dawn Chandler said...

Thank you, William, for your lovely comment. I think you may be right that plein air suits me: Certainly I enjoy the challenge and immediacy of it! If nothing else, the continued challenge of it should help me hone my skills.
Kudos to you and your continued series of sunset painting! Wow -- that's impressive.

Thanks again for reading and commenting.

Happy painting!

~ Dawn

The Artist's Life Experiment said...

LOVE the freshness and color change between these two paintings. So great that you went back to capture the second one. The falling sheets of rain over the of my all time favorites sights in New Mexico. I can smell the damp sage and feel the cool breeze. Lovely.