Thursday, March 28, 2013

03.28.2013 ~ baldy mountain from wilson mesa ~ sense of rain coming

baldy mountain from wilson mesa ~ the sense of rain coming — by dawn chandler — oil on panel — 12"x24" — copyright dawn chandler 2013

The second of my Baldy from Wilson Mesa views — this one based on a photo by Doug Latimer (thank you, Doug!). I love the chunky impasto paint of the water (put in with a palette knife.)  I can just feel the wind starting to pick up as the clouds move in and darken that ridge to the right. The water's starting the lap at the shore as it shifts from blue to grey-white. 

"Rain's comin', better get a move-on."

Thursday, March 21, 2013

03.21.2013 ~ the baldy mountain project

baldy from wilson mesa ~ brilliant day (philmont) ~ by dawn chandler ~ oil on panel ~ 12"x24" ~ copyright by dawn chandler

At last!
Spring is here and I am ready to bloom!

I've been inactive with art updates these past couple months and I apologize for that. But if I haven't been traveling — admiring the red rock buttes of Sedona, researching the galleries of Scottsdale or backpacking in the Gila Wilderness — I've been hibernating in my studio, cranking out work! 

I'm excited! not only for Spring but to keep on keeping on with the energy that's emanating from my studio.

Seems like lately there's been a perfect confluence of needs : ideas : resources : inspiration stirring up my muse. Among them:

— My brother and sister-in-law have commissioned me to do a large painting for the mantel of their cabin/mountain house. 

My bros' request? The view of Baldy Mountain from Wilson Mesa — a revered scene/spot to many who have hiked the North Country of Philmont.

— Following his request several other people inquired about that same scene!

The Philmont Museum has invited me to take part in a special year-long exhibition, "Gift of Inspiration" highlighting former Philmont staff who have gone on to pursue art-related occupations. 
I'd like to do a special painting for it — something beyond "just another pretty picture.'

— I've poetry on my mind. 
And words. 
Been writing poetry, even. 
And reading it. 
A lot.

— 'Been immersing myself in the writings of key "Nature writers" — Thoreau, Leopold, Dillard, Abby, Muir, etc. 
Revisiting some, experiencing others for the first time. Inspired through and through

— Digging through a keepsake box of my Philmont days, I found my dog-eared copy of the 1985 "Warm Stars on a Cold Night: A Collection of Wilderness Quotations" from my Rangering and "Wilderness Pledge" days.

— Been getting deeper into the mountains....

Okay, so some of these require more explanation. 

Stick with me and I'll get to them in future posts.

For now, my "Baldy Mountain Project" commences!


To start things off, here's the first of six (so far) "traditional" landscape paintings of the view of Baldy Mountain from the top of Wilson Mesa. 
Be prepared for some "non-traditional" works 'round the corner...!

Friday, March 08, 2013

03.08.2013 ~ ou tend ce chemin ~ where does that road lead?

ou tend ce chemin (where does that road lead?) ~ by dawn chandler ~ 16" x 8" ~ mixed media ~ copyright dawn chandler 2013

Snow. Been hoping for more of it. Maybe posting this painting will tease some out of the sky.

This is my winter card painting for 2012/13. Each winter around the holidays I create a winter-themed mixed media painting. Creating the painting motivates me to focus on the beauty of winter, a season I often find hard to get enthused about. But making my annual winter painting makes me smile a bit about winter.

When the painting is completed, I put it on a card, which I mail to my circle of family and friends and patrons. Call it a Christmas card; call it a New Year card; call it a Merry Winter card. Regardless, making the card provides an annual opportunity to reach out and connect with my tribe in a special way, particularly since scant few of us send or receive real mail anymore. (I pride myself on still being an old-fashioned letter-writer.)

This year's card began to evolve shortly after Thanksgiving. It grew out of a black and white photo of a path through snowy winter woods that my father or mother took back in the 1950s; I found it in an album from the first few years of their marriage.
With a copier, I enlarged the photo and then glued it down on the panel.

Near the top I added pieces of old crumbling wallpaper to form a sort of archway.
With a paper doily and white paint I stenciled the "snowflakes."

An English postage stamp is the source of the red bird, with a couple of random brush-strokes of red here and there suggesting his companions. 

The hand-written text in the upper right is a scribbling of words I'd jotted down at some point and has since been kicking around my studio.
The printed words on the lower right are excerpted from a memoir or sorts of my parents.
The writing at the threshold of the path lends the title of the painting: "ou tend ce chemin?" -- where does that road lead? It's my father's handwriting, from one of his hundreds of French flashcards that he used to carry around.

It may be hard to see, but in the center of the trees is a ghosted figure of an angel -- a Renaissance sculpture that I photographed in Rome.

Eventually I added the tall dark tree trunks to the foreground, emphasizing the feeling of emerging onto the path.

I thought the painting nearly complete the morning of December 15.

...and then came the news of the horror in Newtown, Connecticut.

What can you say about that. Words and paint seem so feeble. 

I abandoned the painting           for a while

came back to it      some days      or weeks       later.

If you look along the long edges, you'll find leaves.

Silver leaves. 

Twenty-eight of them.