Welcome back, paint fans!

This week we’ll examine a painting that I did 12 years ago.  Next week I’ll be attempting to post photos of a small painting that I will attempt to do on site, at the place depicted.  (For us art snobs, this is called plein air.)  I’ll be blogging near the site, stay tuned, it should be interesting.

There is one thing I wanted to repeat before I begin because this came up recently.  If you’ve seen this before, forgive my repetition.  I am partially color blind.  As such, my colors are occasionally a little funky.  IF I have a real problem I consult with Mrs.boran2 or the boran2 boy.  It’s not usually a problem.

But back to this week’s subject, the painting seen below, a 1993 painting I titled “Go west”.  Such an original title!

The painting is painted on a wide canvas measuring 16 inches wide by 8 inches high.  I’ve previously praised this type and have been thrilled to occasionally find them available commercially.  The width really gives this painting much greater impact.  It is also very suited to the subject matter, Monument Valley on the Utah/Arizona border.  I’ve been there several times and this was painted from one of my photos.  The sense of space there is amazing.  You can literally see for many miles totally unobstructed.  Go there if you are in the area.  Even if you aren’t close, it is worth going out of your way.  This is world-class scenery.  Oh, several movies have been filmed there.

If you do go, you will learn that this is a Navajo tribal park and not a US national park.  One can take a self-guided tour or hire one of the local guides, which allows for access to areas not accessible on the self-guided tours.

The painting depicts 2 of the 3 buttes that are depicted in most of the photos of the place.  There are actually 2 “mitten” buttes, one of which is in the painting, on the left.  The 3 buttes are what visitors see first upon leaving the visitor parking area.  There are many other buttes to see when you go.

The painting was actually entered in a juried exhibition many years ago and the registration tag remains taped to the back.  It was rejected, but posting it on BooManTribune is much better!

The painting was done with a very simple technique.  I started with broad planes of mostly uniform color, the reddish brown buttes and foreground and the blue of the sky.  Over these I then painted the details.  I did not use the layering of thin coats or washes that I do now.  I had yet to discover these techniques.  And yes, those clouds did appear to be in a line.  The details are actually fairly limited in number and the painting was completed rather quickly, as I remember.  At the time of my first visit to Monument Valley, I was concerned about my ability to duplicate the color of the rock.  I took a small stone to enable me to mix a similar color when I got home to New York.  Somewhere in my house, I still have it today.

I continue to be satisfied with the result although I would probably paint it differently today.  It is an uncomplicated depiction of the scene.

About that frame.  It’s probably not ideal for the painting but it has been in place for a decade.  Maybe I’ll change it at some point.  It is an inexpensive commercially available type.

Next episode, I will hopefully have some special plein air stuff to show you.  More details to follow.  As they say, watch this space!

Thanks, see you next time.  

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