Monday, November 22, 2010

A trio of smaller studies - FC & CP series

Since moving to larger canvases during the course of this series, it has slowed down my completion and painting process a bit, and has caused me to be more judicious in the images I choose for these larger paintings.  This is a Good Thing.  However, I also felt a bit of a quandary:  there are images I want to paint, but don't feel warrant the larger sizes.   Plus, I want to try and maintain my goal of 2-3 paintings per day.

Solution:  return to the 6x8 quick studies on canvas paper, and sandwich those in between the larger paintings to maintain the sequence of the return trip.  The studies are a good way to warm up for working on the larger pieces.  Some may turn out to be keepers, but the canvas paper has not resumed being particularly fun to work on since I quit using it a few weeks ago.

So, these studies bring us up to #34, 35 and 36.  Paintings 37-44 are already in various stages as well.

Near Middle Mesa - #34

In #34, we are back on Hwy 160, still on the Navajo Nation, and east of Tuba City.  Middle Mesa is a small trading post/gas station, and these attractive hills of rounded Navajo sandstone topped by the red cliffs of the Carmel formation.  Combined with the bright yellow flowering shrubs and scattered juniper, it makes for a very attractive view on the south side of the highway.

Cow Springs View - #35

The name for #35 refers not to a location (although there is a Cow Springs Trading Post), but the name of the rock that makes up distinctive outcroppings along this stretch of the highway.  Black Mesa lies behind.  

Rez Trio - #36

Here's a new twist [and challenge to paint] for the series:  the introduction of creatures.  Often seen out in the sparsely vegetated land on the reservation in small groups, they are often in want of food.  The star of this painting - a big varnish roan appaloosa - looks like he gets plenty to eat.  They graze amongst scattered tumbleweed and large groups of juniper.   In reality, they were protected from the highway by a fence, but I never include the fences in any of these paintings.  First off, I hate barbed wire fences; second, a transverse fence blocks the viewer out as it blocks the horses in.  

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