Sunday, June 12, 2011

Plein Air in the Hilltowns

Painting rocks in a shaded spot along a small stream in Westhampton, MA  helped ease me back into the Greens of New England.
Woodland Brook: Westhampton MA
This is a palette knife plein air sketch on a 9x12 Ray-Mar panel. It received a 1st in Oils at the Blandford Fair Art Show, 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pochade Painting in The High Desert near Albuquerque, NM

Sandia Peak from the North
Sandia Mountains, Morning View

 June 1, 2011: Seven of the Hilltown Plein Air Painters traveled to Albuquerque NM to visit Karin Cook, formerly of Worthington, MA.

These five plein air sketches  were done in the early mornings, at about 6000 feet, in the High Desert areas surrounding the Sandia Mountains with a palette knife on 9x12 canvas covered hardboard. In the early morning the mountains were cast in blue. As the day went on, the canyons and cliffs took shape.

The New Mexican sun was very bright, and the temperatures in the high 80's and low 90's.

The light changed quickly and within an hour we would find ourselves looking at an entirely different set of shapes and colors.

On the road to Madrid, NM
I first sketched the broad shapes with vine charcoal, then laid the colors in with a large palette knife. To finish, I went back into the wet paint, modifying the broad shapes. The yellow skies were laid in at the end. While the sky tended towards blue,  I scrubbed in yellow, which seemed to better indicate the high desert heat.   The usually clear  atmosphere of these mountains was modified by a large wildfire in Arizona. You could actually see the smoke rolling up through the valleys. Soon after we were there, the entire area was closed due            to the lack of rain and threat of fires.

High Desert #1

High Desert # 2