Friday, June 3, 2011

Comb Ridge, moving forward....

Comb Ridge - nearing maturity

"...Downhill, maybe a mile, in one great switchback, the roadway descended through a gap to to the built-up fill across the floor of Comb Wash." -Edward Abbey in The Monkey Wrench Gang

So, after almost a week of silence, here we are.  Plans to work on this and finish it went astray as other projects and distractions came up.  This is where it is as of yesterday, and two painting sessions [the first of which was not worth posting about] from the last post on it.  

Paint finally covers the entire board, but there are areas that remain unresolved to my satisfaction - namely, the sandstone cliff regions (too light in value and there is this new Escher-esque thing happening with a section of them that needs to be you see it?  How exactly does that happen, I wonder?).  My attempts to cool down the red slope to the right resulted in a tad over-correction of color.  It's not quite as garish as it looks in the photo here, but still no es bueno. 

I will have to cogitate a bit and decide how best to bring this painting to full adulthood.

And, what you may ask, is the relevance of the quote from Mr. Abbey above?  I happen to be reading this modern fiction classic involving the mischief and mayhem of a quartet of colorful characters bound and determined to stop interlopers with bulldozers, coal trains and such from defacing the land.  

I read this passage the other night, and realized that it describes my painting.  This is the great switchback that descends through the gap in Comb Ridge.  Comb Wash is where the bright green cottonwoods are in the painting.  Anyway, I thought it was neat and apropos.  Ed might not love the road, but he'd be glad to know that the area remains relatively untrammeled.  

In an unrelated but exciting event, I found out yesterday that this painting

pastel on black Strathmore

was accepted into the Durango Art Center's annual juried member show!   I helped hang the show yesterday, and while two other pieces I entered did not get in, I can not complain:  93 artists entered 190 pieces of art.  Only 60 were chosen.  Several established gallery artists, including a previous BOS winner, did not have work accepted.  Many artists had no works accepted, and I think of the list I had, only 2-3 artists had all 3 entries accepted.  One was a sculptor.  

The reception is happening shortly, and the juror (an art instructor at the local college) said he will give a talk about the works.  I'm very interested to hear what he has to say.

I decided to enter Serenity on a lark the day before the entry date; I gutted another framed and matted pastel I had in my personal collection.  This happens to be one of my personal favorites, so I'm delighted that it was accepted.

-off to the show reception now!


  1. I can see why Serenity is a favorite of yours, really terrific piece. Hope you have fun at the opening!

  2. Thank you, Dan. I'll save the update on the show for another post, but the reception went very well! One of the criteria for entering the show is that all works had to be available for purchase....I am secretly hoping this one does not sell, and priced it accordingly.

  3. This is coming along wonderfully. I look forward to seeing the outcome.

    Dang it, I am out of town again for your opening! I will make a point to see the show when I get back. I want to see Serenity in person. Congratulations on getting in!

  4. Congratulations on being juried into the show. Serenity is a gorgeous painting!

    I'm anxious to see the "full grown" version of Comb Ridge. I think you are off to a TERRIFIC start!

    LeAnn aka pasqueflower

  5. Congratulations on the show, Sonja. It is a lovely painting.

    I like the way your Comb Ridge painting is coming along. Sometimes letting a painting set for a while helps clarify what you think is not quite right so your show is just at the right time.

  6. Thanks, Susan. Sometimes, it's hard to tell the direction it's going ;). Yes, you should definitely check out the show when you get back - it's really good, definitely the best of all I've seen since I've been here (although last months' floral show was also excellent). And, we should get together for coffee or something when you're in town! I hope the rest of your trip goes well.

    Thanks LeAnn - I appreciate your visit and comments!

  7. Hi Ruth - looks like we were crossposting here :). I always enjoy your comments; they are always thoughtful and insightful, which I really appreciate.

  8. "Comb Ridge" is breathtaking, Sonya!


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