Thursday, April 21, 2011

Comb Ridge, revisited - pastel painting

9x12 inches
pastel on Strathmore

Another quick piece, done this evening, based on a photo up on Comb Ridge itself taken along the hike to the Procession panel petroglyph.  I was drawn to the sweeping curves of the sandstone and the line of juniper leading up the wash.  The challenge was to try and capture the direction of the rock and avoid a flat appearance by use of pastel stroke and subtle variations of gray of the same value.

I had to rely on a flash for the photo, so the color nuances aren't as clear as they are on the actual piece.  However, I won't have access to the computer or the internet for most of the day tomorrow due to our move, so it was either now or another day or possibly two before anything was going to surface here.  

The green of the junipers becomes a key element in this painting by adding both an area of contrasting value as well as a non-linear visual path into the painting.  These are things I keep in mind when I'm composing the photo.

I'm into these green skies; they seem to harmonize better with the pale grays of the land, and of course the shrubs, than blue.

It has a more abstract feel to it than the painting from a few days ago, and is more of what I was aiming for.  

I hope to be back online tomorrow evening from our new condo!  


A few final deck photos from our current place...

Sunset, April 19 - stratocumulus

April 20 afternoon - altocumulus and Smelter Mtn. in the spotlight

April 20 sunset - bands of cumulus mediocris 


  1. Good luck on your move!

    The landforms read perfectly well to me, although I am a westerner. I still think everyone will get it. Very nice work - the subtlety is a strength.

  2. Thanks, Casey! It went smoothly and I'm hoping to get back to my studio tomorrow. And, we have internet service.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the painting; I suppose to people not familiar with the geology/topography of the area (most people), it might read like snow-covered hills rather than Navajo sandstone.

  3. Beautiful!...You're moving? Hope it's an easy move and you get settled in quickly.

  4. Thanks, Liz! Yep - Wayne bought a condo near downtown, and we just moved in yesterday. It was easy (only 4 blocks away) and since we piece-mealed a lot of it over, there isn't much unpacking to do :).

    You and Mike will have to come up for a visit!

  5. Sonya, I just wanted to stop by and say hello. I love your work, and your blog is excellent. I so look forward to seeing more of your art. Very nice! :)

  6. Hi Darla - thanks so much for stopping by and for your comments - also much appreciated! :)

  7. Absolutely gorgeous!

    So glad you gave up the more "practical" career as a podiatrist to follow your heart and make this amazing art!!

    Mary C. Nasser

  8. Love the movement here, Sonya. And I think the green sky adds drama. Very nice.
    Congrats on the new place!

  9. Hi Mary - thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind words.

    Hey, Debbie - thanks much for your comments and thoughts on the painting; I appreciate it :).

  10. love the sky color...great painting

  11. Great colors, this is one of my favorites!

  12. Hi Celeste - thanks much for dropping by!

    Thanks so much, Jill!


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

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