Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Four Corners & Colorado Plateau series - #4 & 5

I had planned to post these yesterday, but by the time I finished painting for the day, it was too dark to take photos [I usually take them outside].

The first is of a wash - one of many that run through the plateau country.  Most are dry except right after a rain; this had a few residual pools of water, which were no doubt gone within the next day or so.  They follow the path of least resistance, usually bordered by sandstone outcroppings and cliffs, as shown here.

Along the wash  - #4
oil on gessoed card

It's been good practice to mix up a variety of greens for the grasses, shrubs and trees.   The clouds for this were based on what was out my window at the time, so it's got a touch of plein air.  

Outcropping  - #5
oil on gessoed card

Jurassic period Navajo sandstone is the predominate rock along Hwy 160 as you cross into AZ.  It forms both cliffs (as in Lake Powell) and scalloped cross-bedded slopes - a testament to its eolian (dune) origins.  Grasses and other hardy desert shrubs take hold along the eroded debris piles and in the fissures.  

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