|Taos Adobe Shadows #1 - plein air|
12x12 - pastel on black cardstock
© 2012, S.Johnson
With temperatures predicted to be in the high 50's to maybe low 60's, I was excited to do some plein air paintings while down there, and more specifically, some of the architecture - the very distinctive adobe-styled homes Taos is famous for. Turns out, I didn't need to go far: the front yard of my sister's house for #1, painted Monday morning.
What really grabbed my eye, aside from the use of bright colors for the trim on these homes, is the way cast shadows look on the adobe facade. They form these intricate abstract patterns from tall cottonwood trees, unseen. They also are a challenge to paint, and I think I'd need to paint them on a daily basis for a few weeks to get to the point where I felt competent painting them. Hopefully, you get the idea, though.
|Taos Adobe Shadows #2 - plein air|
12x12" - pastel on black cardstock
© 2012, S.Johnson
My plan, in addition to these architecture paintings, was to head south of town and paint the iconic Taos Gorge on Wednesday. I was really excited about this, and planned it for the afternoon when it was nice and warm and the light would be better. However, what I didn't anticipate was the forecast for strong wind gusts that afternoon...the bane of every plein air painter, and cause for ruin for many of my paint-outs.
The wind was so strong along the foothill slope overlooking the gorge that it flung my car door open as soon as I opened it. Add to that the light-killing altostratus cloud layer spreading throughout the sky, and it was a disappointing bust.
So, instead - here are a few photos from that day:
|Late winter grazing in Arroyo Hondo|
|Taos Gorge...I'll be back!|
|Mothership cloud over the mountains of Taos|
Lenticular clouds, such as this cumulus variety, form from high winds, usually as they pass over mountains, whipping the edges of the cloud into otherworldly shapes