Continuing with paintings from the workshop... on Wednesday we were most fortunate to be invited to paint at Taos artist Walt Gonske's garden. Isn't it lovely? He couldn't have been more gracious and welcoming. He told us he moved here in the 70's to surround himself with the southwest's representational art, and escape New York's love affair with abstract. A familiar story for many.
(205) Hot! Hot! Hot!
8 x 10, oil
My assignment for this plein air study was to plan the painting around a word that I drew out of a hat--my word was "hot" so I made her skin color a little hotter than it appeared, and added a tiny amount of cad red light to all my mixtures.
This is how the scene looked. I had to turn my easel a little to get the glare of the sun off the canvas for this photo, so it may be a little harder to see-- but look at what a gorgeous day it was.
(204) Pass the Wine
8 x 10, oil
OK, this was just painful. We had a "grab bag palette" of three colors and mine were a warm red (terra cotta), a cool red, and a medium cool gray (plus white). No yellow or blue in sight. Ouch. The gray "becomes" my blue. The point of this exercise is to judge a color based on what is next to it, not just how it appears out of the tube. Green, necessary to paint the foliage in this case, is impossible to mix with reds and gray, but once its complement (red) is juxtaposed next to the gray, that color begins to take on a greener appearance... Confused?Think of it like trying to write your name while looking only at a mirror image of your hand. Go on...try it...tough stuff. But the point is, having a super limited palette forces you to note how a color's appearance is determined by its surroundings. Think about how a single color pops against a neutral background, or how compliments seem to vibrate next to each other. This is a concept the impressionists reveled in--but I'm fairly certain, they engaged in the consumption of wine as a lunchtime ritual...
(203) E.I. Couse Studio
8 x 10, oil
This home and studio is located on Kit Carson Drive and was such a lovely discovery. There was "a painting in every direction" I turned, and its present caretakers, descendants of Couse were most gracious in inviting us to paint there. My focus was on keeping the color notes clean, not going back in once they were down, not overworking it.
The photo shows the foreground in shadow, but it was in fact, in sunlight while I was painting. And that's it for today--I will post the last batch tomorrow.
"It was all so far away - there was quiet and an untouched feel to the country and I could work as I pleased".... Georgia O'Keefe