Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Taos Shack, Three Ways

I was lucky enough to be included on a plein air painting trip with some fantastic artists: Lori Putnam (one of her Taos paintings is on the lead page of her website) the great Carol Marine, Larry Moore, Mark Fehlman, and Paul Kratter. Perhaps it was the slight connection with Paul that got me in.
The mornings were cold in Taos: hovering around 20ยบ at 8 a.m. when we ventured out. Each day I'd make a point to paint the view out the front door of our house where a distant farmhouse seemed to lean at a greater angle each day.
The top painting shows what happens when one tries to paint washes of watercolor in temperatures below freezing. The paint turned thick and muddy before becoming an solid layer of colored ice. Somehow the pigment would collect in strange but lovely crystallized patterns. Okay- I'll go with it!
Honestly, I'm not really happy with any of the paintings I did that week, but why should I be? I never paint en plein air and it reminded me how incredibly difficult the process is. Still, I loved every minute of the trip and learned heaps.