Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Winter Shroud

Winter Shroud
11x14 inches
pastel on 140# w/c paper with Golden pumice ground

A companion piece, if you will, to the last painting.  I realized that I had this photo in my collection, and was drawn to it for the same reasons - golden grasses and dark, dramatic skies.  This is taken from the same location, but the view is to the southeast now, with the wind to our backs.  In the distance, San Jose peak - another small range just south of the border, receives a smattering of snow.

This reminded me that winter storms were a common theme to my photography and paintings last year while in southern AZ.   Two of the paintings can be seen here and here.  

The paper for this gave me some fits with blending; I am guessing it didn't contain a thick enough layer of the pumice ground to allow for the layering I needed, particularly at the top.  It also made trying to accurately depict a mountain partially shrouded in cloud and snow even more difficult.  

Now, I'm off to contemplate the next subject to paint.  I have so many ideas bouncing through my head and often when that happens, it takes longer to figure out what to actually focus on.


Monday's sunset:




  1. Have you ever gone in with a piece of sandpaper, or a sandpaper block, to rough up an area like that? It's a risk, but it can be worth it occasionally.

    I was just contemplating one of these distant snow peaks that I see from my studio. This is a good work of that subject, Sonya. I admire the way you tackle distance so well.

  2. Casey's right; your distances are quite excellent.

    About that sunset... it is INSANE. A painting of it would not be believed. A photograph is borderline.

  3. Casey - actually, in spite of the fact that I do often hit w/c paper and the Artagain with sandpaper prior to painting, it never occurred to me to try to fix a problem like this during the process by sanding it...duh!

    Sam - re the sunset: insane (or "wicked cool" as they'd say in New England) is exactly right; I think my jaw fell open when I saw it. And you're right - there is no painting anything like this, unless it's under the guise of a pure abstraction.

    Thank you both for your comments regarding the sense of distance you feel I've achieved in these paintings. It means a lot and I really appreciate it. It is one thing I am very mindful of when painting such open landscapes such as these - being able to get the correct atmospheric perspective.

    I have recently been looking at some of the phenomenal watercolors by W. Homer and William Troust Richards, and their ability to portray distance in their work is astounding. Maybe some of that sublimated into my artist subconscious (could I be that lucky?).

  4. I'll chime in about the beautiful sense of space and distance you capture, Sonya. It's full of feeling for the land.

    I remember Arizona sunsets like your photos. I wouldn't even begin to try to paint them!

  5. Hi Don - thanks so much!

    I saw (and photographed) so many over-the-top sunsets last winter when I was in AZ, and now here in CO. But, there is a definite "lost in translation" thing that goes on when attempting to paint them, so I don't bother. Same with rainbows, lightning and other transient weather phenomena.

  6. Bravo, beautiful landscapes - pastel and photos! Yep, we have beautiful sunsets! Love them. New ideas?...look forward to seeing what's next.

  7. Thanks, Liz! Bisbee and surrounding area will be a source of painting inspiration for a long time, I suspect :).

  8. Glad I came to your blog today. Very beautiful and interessting things I have seen here, and read. Wonderful work and ideas to try. Thanks so much for your postings!

  9. Hi Ida - thank you so much for stopping by! I'm glad you found some ideas to maybe try yourself - that's great :).


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

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