Hovenweep #2 - Standing Alone
pastel on black Strathmore
Last night, while catching up on one of our favorite TV series via Netflix, I was noticing the wonderful abstract paintings in the office of one of the main characters (the POTUS, in fact). Reds and blues and other bright primaries and secondaries. So, that is the source of inspiration for the palette in this latest painting in the Ancient Architecture series. I think there is some Wolf Khan influence in there as well.
It almost went into the trash before it was even 1/2 way finished; I had grabbed an earthy brown to use for the area behind the ruin, and realized it didn't work with the reds. I scrubbed it out, but it's still visible as an underpainting of sorts, but I did salvage it. Since this obliterated the black surface of the paper, I decided "what the heck?", and proceeded to use my brush to scrub everything out. It's always surprising how freeing things become when you figure it will head to the trash anyway: nothing to lose!
I titled this painting such because one of the distinctive features of the Hovenweep ruins is that the buildings do all stand alone, and the reds used in the painting were meant to emphasize this. They aren't in large "houses", like those seen at Chaco and Mesa Verde. And the puebloan architects and masons frequently placed their homes (or whatever this was) directly on exposed slickrock; this particular building sits atop a sandstone ledge. Beside it, a rubble pile is all that remains of the rest of the building, with a few scatted rocks shown to represent what used to belong to the dwelling.
Unrelated update: the dumpster diving raccoon had managed to extricate himself from his metal prison, presumably with the help of additional trash thrown in there. A good thing, as the trash was collected today. A friend had suggested I contact Animal Control, and I don't know why I didn't think of that initially, but I won't hesitate to call if that situation arises again.