Wednesday, November 30, 2011

More from southern Utah - 8x16 pastel

Passing Through
8x16 inches - pastel on museum board with Golden pumice ground
© S.Johnson
It occurred to me yesterday evening when I started working on this painting that roads are one of the few manmade elements I really have no hesitation adding in a landscape.  I'll never get tired of painting them.

Another painting based on the drive back from the Needles Overlook, along the road of the same name, which I just can't seem to get enough of.  This one made a perfect crop to a 1:2 format.

It's hard to tell from the photo because I employed blending here, but this is on a black-toned surface.  I usually mix acrylic paint in with the pumice ground, in an approximate 1:1 ratio and add a small amount of water from a spray bottle.  One or two layers and it's good to go, and because the board is smooth, the only texture I have is what I want:  from the pumice grit.  It's particularly good if you frame without a mat.

If I frame this one, I will probably try mounting it on top of a mat (since it isn't in a standard size and I can't afford to custom frame anything) with archival foam tape.  I've seen many pastels on paper with deckled edges framed this way and I like the look.


  1. Great job on creating distance on the road. It really draws me in.

  2. This is the best one of this recent group. Excellent works, Sonya.

  3. Thanks Helen :)

    Hi Sheri - thank you; I just loved this section of the road, so I'm glad it appealed to you as well.

    Thanks, Casey - I appreciate your comments as always. This little "miniseries" has been great fun to paint, and I think I have a few more up my sleeve.

  4. I agree about roads. I think maybe they are so symbolic to us that they aren't as jarring in a landscape as many other human elements are. I tend to like bridges, too.

    I think I am becoming a serious admirer of your range of greens.

  5. Hi Gabrielle - I think you're right about the roads. They are (or can be) the least obtrusive man-made structure. A two-lane road like this remains subordinate to the land.

    I also like bridges, though I haven't painted any. I think if I did, it would have to be the focal point of the painting.

    Thanks so much for your comments - I appreciate your visits!

  6. I love this piece. It reminds me of driving along the edge of the Badlands in South Dakota.

  7. Thanks, LeAnn. I'm always happy when my paintings remind someone of a place or experience. I've never been to the SD Badlands, though the Painted Desert and areas in NM are very similar.


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

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