Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Salinas Pueblo Missions


Mission Ruins at Quarai, 8 x 8, oils
In late August, I took a road trip with a cousin from Bakersfield, California to Joplin, Missouri. We took a day off to visit another cousin in the mountains of New Mexico. He wanted to show me some scenery that I might be interested in painting. In the morning we visited the Salinas ruins of Quarai and Abo. These were churches built in the 1600's by the Pueblo people under the authority of Spanish missionaries. The architecture was a synthesis of European and Pueblo. For example the church was cruciform but the structure surrounding it included kivas, round rooms that were used for spiritual purposes.

I painted this scene from inside the Quarai site based on photos. It's not a traditional landscape composition but I loved the interesting shapes of the light and shadow. Imagine how simple the scene would be without the breach in the left wall. The photo reference was cloudless blue but with such a low horizon line I had to add drama to the sky. It was a dreary late November day in Missouri when I painted this but with the sunny scene and a Tony Hillerman novel in the CD player, I almost felt like I was in the southwest.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Randy Higbee 6 x 6 Show


Antero Sunrise, 6 x 6, oils.
 The Randy Higbee Show is an annual affair, held in Costa Mesa, California. All submissions must be exactly 6 inches square. This was my first time entering. All paintings were based on reference from various painting trips. The one above is of Mt Antero in the Sawatch Range from my trip with Ken Chapin in 2009. It was accepted in the show.

Peace Like a River, 6 x 6, oils.
For this piece I revisited Femme Osage Creek, near Augusta, Missouri. I have learned so much since painting there last May. It was also accepted.

Deep in Glacier Gorge, 6 x 6, oils.
Finally we have this scene from my 10 mile hike with Gina to Black Lake this past August. This piece was declined. Still, two out of three ain't bad and it was a good chance to practice rocks and distant mountains.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Great American Paint Out


J C Nichols Memorial Fountain, 8 x 10, oils
Oil Painters of America promotes group paint outs for it's members every fall. This year my friend Laura Kratz took the lead and organized one for the Kansas City area. The date, October 22, the Country Club Plaza. Over a dozen artists showed up at "the horse fountain" a real KC icon. The weather was great and we had lots of curious onlookers who could see first hand the awesomeness of painting from life. We broke for lunch at the Nelson Art Gallery's Rozelle Court and finished the day with more painting. A great way to promote visual arts in KC and I was able to hand out a few business cards as well.