Thursday, November 29, 2012

11.29.20 ~ autumn sunset ~ avondale, colorado

autumn sunset ~ avondale, colorado ~ by dawn chandler ~ oil and mixed media on panel ~ 12 x 24 inches ~ copyright dawn chandler 2012

In this season of American Thanks Giving and gratitude — especially for bounty and good food — it seems appropriate to post an image of a farm. But not just any farm, mind you, but a classic American farm. Small. Organic. Family-owned.

Numb from garlic. That's how my hands (thumbs especially) were a couple of weeks ago, and I blame the Hobbs Family Farm up in Avondale, Colorado. Farmer Dan invited my Man and dog and me up for a modern day 'barn-raising' of sorts. Only, rather than his community of friends coming together on a Saturday afternoon to build a barn, we joined together in a ring of porch chairs under the cottonwoods to bust open garlic heads.

Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of garlic heads! Why? So in the coming week the cloves could be planted for next year's crop. For the Hobbs Family Farm specializes is beautiful, succulent culinary organic garlic as well as seeds and fresh produce.

We jumped at the chance to participate — not only because we thought volunteering on an organic family farm was just downright cool, but because it was a darn good excuse for a road trip to an area we really weren't that familiar with. Twenty years of driving along 1-25 from New Mexico to Denver and I'm not sure I've ever pulled off in Pueblo except to pee and hit the Starbucks at Exit 101.

This time we turned at exit 100 (okay, only after hitting Starbucks first..) and drove east about 15 miles, winding our way around fences and ditches and rows and rows of corn before pulling into the long driveway that leads to Farmer Dan's place.

By the time we got there, the garlic circle was well established, with neighbors and friends swapping tales and good humor as they sifted through bucketfuls of garlic. We slid right in while Wilson kept chase of the barn cat community.

After a few hours the grill came out. (The coolers had been well-stocked and tapped frequently throughout the day). One thing you can count on when you bring together friends and family of a small organic farm is that the food will be fresh, delicious, healthy and superb. This meal did not disappoint.

Not long after the plates had cleared and Wilson mopped up the crumbs, the clouds that had been churning all day broke up, just in time for sunset.

Below, some painting details:

autumn sunset ~ avondale, colorado ~ by dawn chandler ~ oil and mixed media on panel ~ 12 x 24 inches ~ copyright dawn chandler 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

11.24.2012 ~ view from the top of wheeler (el grande)

view from the top of wheeler peak, taos ~ by dawn chandler  ~ oil on canvas ~ 24 x 48 inches ~ copyright dawn chandler 2012

And there you are: 

You rose early in the morning, met friends in the parking lot, grabbed coffee and a burrito at Michael's Kitchen, continued driving on up through Taos and Taos Ski Valley, where you parked, and embarked on your hike — your breath freezing those first few minutes as you made your way up through the trees and eventually into the dazzling sunlight. 

....Some time later....your bones, muscles and lungs weary, you ascend the steep path to the summit of the highest mountain in all of New Mexico — all 13,065 feet of Wheeler Peak.

You're now looking east, toward Old Mike and the Moreno Valley, and you're feeling like a rock star. 

Rock on! 
You're glorious.

My second oil painting of this view from the top of Wheeler. And this one is LARGE. 24 x 48 inches! I was inspired after the terrific positive response to my first (much smaller) painting of this view, to try my hand at a larger one and have prints made of it. I have now done that, and am pleased to offer prints in three sizes. Click here for more information! Whoop-YEAH!

Here are some details of the painting:

Monday, November 19, 2012

11.19.2012 ~ hiking wheeler peak, iii ~ morning at williams lake, taos

hiking wheeler peack iii ~ morning at williams lake, taos ski valley ~ by dawn chandler ~ oil on panel ~ 12 x 24 inches ~ copyright by dawn chandler 2012
No matter how many times I hike up the densely wooded trail of the Taos Ski Valley to Williams Lake, I am awestruck — In awe, not only by the sheer density and moisture of the soggy forest, but in awe of the view upon emerging from those woods out into that alpine basin. Repetition doesn't diminish my sense of wonder every time I lay eyes on that mountain lake. Just a few miles and a few thousand feet below is a plain of dusty, wind-whipped sagebrush and here is whole 'n'other world, more out of the Alps than the Sangre de Cristos.  

Early morning in particular seems to be my Hour of Awe at William's Lake.

As with all of my paintings in  this series, I started this one by first staining the panel, and then scribing my thoughts — dreams, hopes, wishes — across it. Once the ink dries, I begin to paint

My scribing mostly becomes hidden once I start painting, but sometimes words appear through the paint. Usually I work to conceal my words. But sometimes words just seem to want to appear, as if to make a statement about the scene. Here, I was pleasantly surprised to find ghosts of the words "pausing" and "stay" emerging from the background. How appropriate.

This painting is based on a photo taken by my friend Fred Cribbett. Thanks, Fred!

Friday, November 09, 2012

11.09.2012 ~ of eastern shores: assateague, ii

assateague, ii ~ oil on panel ~ 12 x 24 inches ~ by dawn chandler ~ copyright dawn chandler 2012

Another of Assateague....Here, some of the inner marshland. I'm not sure what that silvery lavender foreground foliage is, but it reminds be a bit of our New Mexican sage. 

Below, some details: