Monday, December 20, 2010

North of Gallup

Here is #3 in the Southwestern Sky series.  I had Johannes critique my last painting, and based on his suggestions, I tried to incorporate many of those into this piece.  It's done in a single session, and I find working alla prima to be a bit challenging when it comes to doing the edges of clouds against a blue sky - it's all too easy to get things smeared and over-blended.

North of Gallup
oil on board

Looking at the painting, I could have probably pushed the yellows in the sky a bit more, and I think the blue is a bit too chromatic.  One of the beauties of working with oils is the color harmony that comes with using a limited palette.  Here, I pulled some of the purples and blue-grays of the sky into the grasses, and what had been discordant suddenly improved.  I also experimented with Torrit Gray, made by Gamblin, that is free with the purchase of two of their tubes.  I know some artists like Kevin McPherson use mixing grays in their work, and I see why.  It may be on the regular palette line-up.  

We are leaving in a mere two days for AZ to spend the holidays with family, and will be gone over a week.  I am going to try and have at least a few blog posts set to post while I'm away so there isn't prolonged radio silence.  Probably mostly photos of places and things I didn't have time to share when I first took them.   I will probably have limited internet time while we're gone, but will try to get in my blog reading fix when I can.


  1. I'm delighted when alla prima goes according to plan but that is rare...good job in completing this, it does have the depth you were looking for. I tend to want to work and rest and review...push and pull and push some more. But this will kick me in the tush to try to finish sooner. come see me!

  2. Hi Cindy - thanks for your comments. It is so easy to over-work an oil painting; I have to stop myself before I mess something up ;). Admittedly, it *can* be fixed, but I'd rather not make the mistake in the first place if I can help it.

    Isn't the inspiration from other bloggers wonderful? I love reading art blogs!

  3. This looks great. Very well done.
    Hoping you are out there taking some eclipse photos for me in the next hour or two! Happy Solstice too.

  4. Thanks, Jala - appreciate your comments, as always :). I'm seeing progress in the paintings, which is most important.

    I just got back inside from shooting the eclipse. I would have missed it if not for your comment! We haven't seen the sun since Friday, and it had been raining a bit ago. But, I went and looked and lo and behold, I could see it from my other deck. So, I have some fuzzy photos from behind the fog/mist/whatever. I will post a couple tomorrow.

  5. Wonderful work.
    Love the color and energy.

  6. I really like how you used neutrals to key down and harmonize the sky and earth.
    Beautiful painting.
    Happy Holidays.

  7. This is going to be a great series, and I love this one.

    Merry Christmas - safe travels.

  8. Rateyourart - thank you :)

    Jim - thank you for stopping by. I am glad that you can see some color harmony here. Happy Holidays to you as well!

  9. Hi Casey - crossposting here!

    Thank you so much, and a Merry Christmas to you and your family as well.

  10. Cool!! Can't wait to see 'em. It was very clear here (and very cold at that time of night!) and it was so cool. I literally was craning my neck up, thinking, Sonya, I hope you are taking some pics right now, because I wouldn't have a clue what to do with the camera at night.


Your thoughtful comments add value to this blog - thank you so much for taking the time to leave them!

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