"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.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Truchas inspiration

"Truchas sunset," 11 x 14, 140 lb d'Arches cold press paper

Don't
paint the scene, or what inspired you. Paint the inspiration. Paint what you feel.

Those words are paraphrases from Thomas W. Schaller's book, "Architect of Light," which has become my inspiration, and art text book this year.

Truchas Dreams, 8 x 10
I've tried painting the Truchas Peaks in New Mexico many times, and earlier this month had some success at an 8 x 10. See Dec. 6 blog: "Truchas Dreams"

Since then I've tried to go larger, which intimidates me, and it shows, because I get too uptight, and don't paint the inspiration, but the subject...plus I'm not very good controlling water on larger pieces. More to learn.

But today I got close, preserving the light, painting the shadows, using complementary colors, trying to catch how those rugged mountains, the second highest in New Mexico, make me feel every time I see them. They make me feel small, but part of that rugged, free landscape.

So here's today's watercolor, catching what I hope is their domination, their drama, near sunset, after an early snow with some aspen still in color. (There is a slight blue cast to this because I took the photo outside, to avoid incandescent warmth.)  

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