Saturday, March 5, 2011

Chaco #2: Doorway - Ancient Architecture series

Chaco #2: Doorway
12x9 inches
pastel on black Artagain

Anasazi architecture, both their pueblo and cliff-dwellings, is characterized by these unique T-shaped doorways.  This door is found within the large Pueblo Bonita at Chaco Canyon.  As you walk through the door, there are additional doors leading to other rooms on the left and right, as well as those you see in front.  Wooden beams form the strut supports for the roof of the doorway.  The doors are not very high - about five feet.

Unlike Chaco #1, for this piece, I wanted to do some bright, saturated colors that are not at all based in reality.  I have this amazing chartreuse-colored Unison that I seldom get a chance to use, and I love it with its compliment.  I picked accent colors I thought went well with the purples/yellows, and for value.  The limited palette (9 colors total) forces one to be creative in their application.  A grayscale conversion confirmed that the lighter purple, darker orange and turquoise are identical in value.  


  1. Starting with a color you love (the chartreuse) and then picking its corresponding values and hues is not only clever, it works wonderfully well here. It makes a fascinating image which projects and recedes with the light. Chaco does the very same thing. I appreciate such a thoughtful process, especially when it succeeds.

  2. Hi Sonya--Thanks for stopping by my blog, and for the follow. Welcome.

    Oh yes. You are really onto something here. These are way cool. Look at just the graphic strength going on not to mention the offbeat colors. There is also something mystical going on, not unlike Chaco itself. Very powerful pieces on many levels.


  3. Great series. I am waiting for more.

  4. Sam - I appreciate your thoughts. I honestly wasn't sure these would appeal to anyone but me, so it's a pleasant surprise to see that other peeps like them. And that the colors and concepts seem to work.

    Hi William - I'm glad I found your blog :). The simple designs produced by both the structure and the strong shadows are one of the many things that appealed to me about these first as photos and then as subjects for paintings. I do find places such as Chaco to have a strong spiritual presence as well.

    Thank you Irina for dropping in to comment; I appreciate it!

    Thanks, Helen!

  5. This is really awesome! Great feel to this as well.

  6. Wow! Okay, this warrants another "wow"! Dynamic in its coloring yet classic in form. Love this!

  7. Thanks Susan and Sheila - I appreciate your comments!

  8. I love what you have done here Sonya :)

  9. Thanks, Sarah! I'm enjoying this series a lot.


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

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