Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Winter In New Mexico - Southern Part

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This February has been more like Tucson than Silver City. We are so very much higher, and cooler. So it is with surprise that we experienced 72 degree days this month!
Perfect for plein air painting! And no snakes yet!

My friend Gay and I went 'sploring on down the road in the Mimbres Valley, just East of Silver City. What we found was an area whose accessibility was determined by the rate of flow of the Mimbres River. Many people live on the far side of that river and rely on four wheel drive, lifted vehicles. Some leave a car on the city side to get out and do routine things like shop or get gas. We didn't have one of the aforementioned vehicles, so we stayed on the tame side. But we still had views that were varied and just downright gorgeous.

The motif

I started my piece by rubbing a tone of a violet all over the board. (I have been watching Shana Kuntz" new video). Its great for making you think and start a little different from your normal starting point and method. Its that thinking differently gives you different results thing. I love the friendship of violet and greens, not to mention the love of yellows for violets, resulting in some of the most rich offsprings possible. We were at riverside and the water was so noisy that we couldn't hear each other talk unless we yelled. Somehow that just was gauche.

The block in

Locals drove their monster tired trucks by ever so slowly so as not to dust us. Who says locals are indifferent to their surroundings? Its so nice to have such a kind and thoughtful welcome.
We painted until we got the sense that we were both starting to dink around with it. For me that is the moment that I think " I can make it better if I just do this", and then the last stroke kills all sense of immediacy - it kills the " I am there" moment. I wish I had a guardian angel who could break my arm before I do that.

In The Shadow Of Cooke's Peak

This was what resulted from one of the nicest days in the sun, with a lovely breeze and friendly people. Mimbres Valley is rapidly becoming one of my favorite places to paint.