Wednesday, October 31, 2012

10.31.2012 ~ of eastern shores: assateague island

our view ~ assateaugue island, i ~ by dawn chandler ~ oil and mixed media on panel ~ 12 x 24 inches ~ copyright dawn chandler 2012

It was one of the finest days of my life. And really, nothing all that extraordinary happened. It was early November 2010 and a couple days before, My Man and I ran in the Outer Banks Half Marathon — My first ever trip to the OBX to run in my first ever half marathon*. 

Now, two days later, we found ourselves alone — not another person is sight — on Assateague Island, walking quietly through the early morning fog, making our way over piney paths to the edge of the ocean. To this view. 

The rest of that morning the island, those pines, the long misty coastline....the wild ponies....remained ours. Alone.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, I wonder if Our Island remains. 

*It was a horrible race for me, thanks to a number of reasons not the least of which was that I simply wasn't ready for it. However the OBX Half is a GREAT race, and I highly recommend it! Very well organized, beautiful flat course, wonderful people and a whole lot of fun. I'm looking forward to doing it again some time and having a much better race!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

10.16.2012 ~ view from the top of wheeler peak

view from the top of wheeler ~ by dawn chandler ~ oil and mixed media on panel ~ 12 x 24 inches ~ copyright dawn chandler 2012

In my eighteen years of living in New Mexico, I've climbed Wheeler Peak at least fifteen times. There on the summit of the Land of Enchantment at 13,161 feet, on various occasions, I've supped with good friends on steamed asparagus and smoked salmon, quaffed my thirst with gin and tonics and single malt and beer, busted up at least one kite, and once watched incredulously and helplessly as my black dog in her pink collar sprinted balls-out for a third of a mile on the heels of a brawny bighorn sheep:

Canis lupis familiaris, of the rogue Taos purebred breed, alias "The Black Dog with the Pink Collar"

Ovis canadensis. In fact, the very bighorn the above-mentioned Black Dog with the Pink Collar chased across the Wheeler tundra during the 2009 ascent.

Taos Purebred vs Ovis canadensis race diagram. The neck-and-neck sprint resulted in a tie across and over that far ridgeline. The race STILL didn't tire that damned dog.

Anyhow.... here's a recent painting of the view from the top of Wheeler, looking -- -- -- which direction? Anyone?

view from the top of wheeler ~ by dawn chandler ~ oil and mixed media on panel ~ 12 x 24 inches ~ copyright dawn chandler 2012

Some painting details:

Friday, October 05, 2012

10.05.12 ~ cathedral rock ~ autumn clouds

cathedral rock ~ autumn clouds ~ oil on canvas ~ 24 x 30 inches ~ by dawn chandler ~ copyright dawn chandler 2012

My latest painting of Philmont's Cathedral Rock — the fourth of four recent paintings of this theme, and by far the most dramatic! It might be my favorite of the four, for that very reason: those clouds just seem to churn with action and drama and season's change. This is the largest painting I've done in a while; me thinks it needs to go over someone's mantel.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

10.02.2012 ~ cathedral rock ~ autumn afternoon, i

cathedral rock — autumn afternoon ~ oil on canvas ~ by dawn chandler ~ copyright dawn chandler 2012

Autumn is my favorite season, especially in New Mexico. The weather and temperatures are more reasonable; more civilized. No wind. Not too hot. Not too cold. The surprise of late summer blooming, like purple asters and gold chamisa... The clear cool crispness of the mountain air, scented here and there with earthy heat-smell of roasting green chiles....The spicy edge of pinon woodsmoke cutting the morning chill... Farm stands overflowing with harvest... clear morning skies overrun by churning late afternoon clouds....

Hmmm.... .....All this leads me to remember one October about fifteen years ago when a friend and I were traveling by bicycle across Mexico, and we stopped for a few days in Mazatlan. We camped there on the beach in a lovely little campground that we had all to ourselves -- save one other couple who were camped there in their RV for several months. Turns out they were "regulars" from Albuquerque, who every autumn journeyed to Mexico in their Winnebago, departing the Duke City on Labor Day and living the expat life in Mazatlan until early January.

"What?" I wanted to ask. "Are you frickin' kidding me?! Autumn is THE BEST TIME to be in New Mexico!!! You've gotta be CRAZY to leave Albuquerque every fall!!!"

here's an autumnal Philmont view -- my third in the painting series of Philmont's Cathedral Rock (see the first painting here and the second one here.) This one is based on a photo taken last fall by Bill Cass, the co-author of the book for which I'm doing this project.