"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Monday, June 17, 2019

On the "theology" of painting-I

"Sunrise at Fajada Butte," Chaco Canyon, N.M., 8 x 10 oil
A week ago I plunged into the world of attempting oil painting, a new "theology" in approaching landscape art.
What you see above is my  somewhat crude result of the intense four day workshop,  "Painting the Canyons of the West," taught by Prix de West artist G. Russell Case, (click to see his web page) at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
It's taken me this long to just sit down and try to write about the experience, far beyond anything I could have imagined.
Russell Case discussing painting with his "Fading Tradition."
Russell used the term "theology" in explaining the processes of  oil and landscape painting, including his painting demonstrations, general talks, helpful one-on-one advice with each of us students, and walks through the brand new Prix De West art show in the museum, using selected works as examples.
I'm not sure why I'm exploring oil painting at this stage of my life and art, but something is pushing me. I'm not ready to give up watercolors, as Russell did, but I need to try to grow. (One unintended side lesson, for me at least--I don't agree watercolor is more difficult than oil...I'm so swamped and intimidated with new ideas and information that watercolor seems comfortable.)
Much more to share as my late in life, do-it-yourself art school continues--I've got almost two note books to digest and try to share this journey of mine.
For the record--I'll probably continue to fine tune the above painting...which is my burden, because it is overworked. Every day I seem something else.
By the way, you have to camp at Chaco (20 miles of gravel road off the highway) to get this morning view--which I did 10 years ago.
Below is the group photo of the class, courtesy of  Gretchen Jeane, director of education at the Museum. People from as far away as San Diego, also Kansas City, Little Rock, near Fort Worth, Sayre, and lots of locals. 

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