"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Exploring creatively

St. Francis Cathedral Basilica in the snow at night, Santa Fe
9 by 12, 140 pound d'Arches paper
I hesitate to show this, but it is the product of an afternoon of creativity at Adelante Gallery in Paseo, painting and visiting with Thomas Stotts, acrylic artist.

My brother Jerry wants a painting of the cathedral for his adobe-style house in Lubbock, and I've been postponing, and trying, and failing for almost two years.

So today, I tried something different... . This is a study only, and it's full of errors, but promises too. Errors--the stars and the moon in the sky are too wet, and ran; the figures in the foreground are in the wrong place and too small, but can't be too much bigger either, and bishop Lamy's statue is too tall. Needs a little more control of snow-covered vegas in the foreground buildings, and some other things. Plusses, turquoise night sky, a la Remington and Russell, and I painted what I feel...before they were static--more architecturally accurate, but devoid of story telling and spirit.

So, we'll see, if what I learned on this will be transferrable to more than double the size. Don't know, but I'm inspired. Santa Fe is powerful for both Jerry and I, and if it is to be a successful painting, it has to not be a photograph, but more...fitting our emotions. When our uncle Mike was alive and I stayed in his apartment (up until November a year ago), I could step out on the porch and see this every night. and it figures prominently in Willa Cather's "Death Comes for the Archbishop."

1 comment:

  1. Everything in this study is drawing attention to the cathedral. The road draws one in like a magnetic pull toward the church. Love the dark gray mountain and blue sky - so complimentary to the color of the cathedral. The dark contrast of the buildings on either side train our eyes to look at what is at the end of them! An emotive and affecting painting. If this is your study - can't wait to see the end product.

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