Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Revisiting the roadtrip: a new series

After mulling over a few different ideas, I think I've finally settled on something to paint while I wait for plein air season to begin in earnest...

Altocumulus Over Sleeping Ute
9x12 inches - pastel on black construction paper
© S.Johnson
A theme for a previous series - the roadtrip - and even the same route - Hwy 160 and 89A.  Even the Grand Canyon.  But, this will also take us further south and off the Colorado Plateau to Phoenix, via Interstate 17.  

The trip was back in early August, and early on, the skies started being interesting, but I had no idea just what an amazing transformation would happen just in the span of a few hours, courtesy of the monsoons.  Maynard Dixon would have loved this day.  

I've decided that for this series, it will be pretty much "anything goes", in terms of media, surface, size, style, etc.   Basically, I want to use this as an opportunity to focus on specific ideas or concepts for each painting, and the common element will simply be that they all are based from references from this trip to Phoenix and back, with a side trip to the Grand Canyon.  I've shared photos and the plein air piece I did from that trip here.  I even tested the waters months ago for this series with this graphite drawing.

For this first piece in the series, it's all about the sky and minimalism.   The view is south of the Sleeping Ute Mtn, located in the southwestern corner of Colorado.  The sweep of the clouds over the mountain, and their movement throughout the sky are what appealed to me here.  Blue seemed too conventional, so the sky is in some fun colors of turquoise and teal/purple-gray.  

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the drive!


  1. Very pretty, Sonya. You really captured the grandeur of the sky. Love the little bits of the black paper peeking through, too. Very harmonious!

  2. Thank you, Darla. It was a fun painting to do, and I did absolutely NO finger blending on this piece, so the black does show through, which I like here :).

    Thanks LeAnn :)


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