Today I have a two-fer for you. One tree, two paintings. The first one painted, below, is Tree at Sunset done in oil on a smooth surface, and the second, bottom, Days of Future Passed, an acrylic was done on a textured strata. There is definitely a yin yang in the execution here. The oil to me has a softer, more naturalistic, and (forgive me) feminine feel, just like the paint. More sensitive and available to the touch of the brush. The oil paint is slower drying, and for me, the emotional content lingers and can become stickier as it sets. On the other hand the acrylic has a bolder presence. It colors have a higher chroma and harder edges, done with a quick, firm, more direct masculine application. Still I feathered some edges to take advantage of the texture. The oil feels more ethereal to me, yet with the acrylic I became much more aware of the cosmological passing of time. The Circle of Life, always creating. The day ends here, creating new beginnings elsewhere. At sunset and twilight time my mind begins to drift and I thought of the classic 1967 Moody Blues Album, and felt that it would be appropriate for the title: Days of Future Passed.
Enjoy the full album here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTnFLl5vkLY
Tree at Sunset 6x6 Oil on Gessoboard
Days of Future Passed 6x6 Acrylic on Canvas board
The Spring Creek Wildfire
The Spring Creek Fire - Sheep and Little Sheep Mountains, Colorado 6x6 Oil on Gesso board
Last week on my way to New Mexico I wasn't sure what route I was going to take down there, both Highways 285 and 160 were closed due to wildfires. Fortunately 160 was reopened the afternoon before I left. This painting is a view looking west from near Walsenburg. The fire was human caused and has burned more than 108,000 acres with 132 homes destroyed and another 119 damaged. The area is north of La Veta Pass and about 15 miles southeast of the Great Sand Dunes National Park. The fire started June 27th and is now mostly contained thanks to the brave men and women battling the blaze and some much needed rain. Its one thing to watch on the nightly news, but a whole other thing to see the wildfires in person, if even from a safe distance. Thank You Firefighters!
Abiquiu Reservoir Verga
Abiquiu Reservoir Verga 8x10 Acrylic on canvas board
Last week I went down to northern New Mexico for my birthday and stayed at a friend's earth ship house. Off the grid at 7700 feet above sea level, it was made with old tires, and has solar panels, a cistern system and a wind turbine. On 'the day' we went down to Ghost Ranch, Georgia O'Keeffe's compound, which has also been the location of many movies dating back to the mid 80s. Its gorgeous down there. Everywhere I looked I was thinking, how can I capture this vista or that scene on canvas? We stopped near Abiquiu Reservoir, a pale blue oasis in the arid landscape, where I started this painting and finished in the studio back in Denver from memory. Just hinted at in the middle ground were some burros that sauntered by while we were painting.
Happy Birthday America!
This is my friend Holly at Coors Field, where we had arrived early at a previous Colorado Rockies' July 4th fireworks game. Happy Independence Day!
Summer Haze & Reservoir Trees
Last week I was out painting on top of a reservoir's earthen dam which is located between Lowry Sports Park and Common Grounds golf course. Looking west (below), I captured the hazy view generated by the wildfires burning in southern Colorado. And to the south (bottom), I painted a stand of trees next to the reservoir, where I was told there was a coyote's den. There were several people walking their dogs and jogging on the trail along the top of the dam. One person approached and asked if he could watch me paint. He and his girlfriend ended up buying both paintings 'right off the easel'! Of course I had to let them dry and varnish them before they happily took them home. They were moving to a new home in Highlands Ranch and wanted something to remember one of their favorite spots in the old neighborhood. I love this spot too. Its amazing the open space and beautiful vistas we still have within the city limits!
Summer Haze 6x8 Oil on Gessoboard - Plein Air
Reservoir Trees 6x8 Oil on Canvasboard - Plein Air