Sunday, March 10, 2013

What Color Is Water?

If you don’t like the weather just hang around a bit. That pretty much sums up the climate of New Mexico. I love this place. Don’t get me wrong, the weather variety does present real challenges. I thought California was changeable. Ha!
Three days ago a new painting buddy and I left the Mimbres Valley and headed to Lake Roberts. I expected snow and maybe ice on the lake. Un-huh. It was warm, it was sunny, it was gorgeous. So we set up on either side of the boat ramp and started to paint, exclaiming on our good luck weather-wise, and enjoying the pine tree rimmed lake.
Part way through and after the wind blast.
As we got into it, I walked away for a second to take a little longer distance view of what I was working on, when suddenly a rogue gust of wind blew through our area around the boat ramp.  Of course everything fell over. Face down. When did a pb&j sandwich ever fall down bread side down? I don’t mind a little texture in the lower parts, but dirt colored skies are not too appealing, and I had left LA far behind in California. Luckily the painting was drying in record time and I could brush a lot of errant bits off the surface without moving the paint around.
I had set up next to two local fishermen, one of them being well into his eighties. It was entertaining to hear the exchange between the father and son. Amusement is where you find it, I guess.
Because the skies were changing so rapidly the color of the water kept changing. When we got there the lake was pea soup green, later it got to a turquoise color with gold reflections from the surrounding bull rushes, and just before we left it had turned a cool blue. The temps were headed downward despite the blooming pussy willows.
Lake Roberts with a undecided lake color
Oil 11x14
So what color did I paint the water? Pea soup green made it look muddy, and turquoise just jumped off the canvas and socked you in the eye.  So I floated a transparent Indian yellow over the turquoise to find a color that was not so out of place.  There is not much green around the lake except for the evergreen trees. Even the native bushes are still washed out and either a goldish color or a grayish one. My water is an amalgamation of all the colors I saw. They were all there. You just had to look. I bet that water turned orange with the sunset.

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