Posts tagged ·

Colorado

·...

Storm Off Trail Ridge: Pastel

no comments
Storm Off Trail Ridge (12 x 15 pastel) $150

Storm Off Trail Ridge (12 x 15 pastel) reserved for La Salles show

My husband and I took a drive over Trial Ridge Road above Rocky Mountain National.  It’s a drive I remember fondly from my childhood.  But that late June day a storm was brewing.  I should have known.  Foul weather is perfectly normal in June, at 10,000 feet and even lower.  I have been snowed on backpacking in July at 7,000 feet.

But Stephen and I drove happily on.   We enjoyed the brisk cool weather and admired the clouds, ignoring their warning.  The later half of the drive was white knuckles all the way.  The coming storm brought so much snow and wind that we couldn’t see enough to turn around.  Road construction in progress but temporarily abandoned for the snow, added to the tension. We stopped with relief at would have been the half way point of the drive, the Visitor’s Center.   The Center has a lovely wall of windows for panoramic views.  But that day they showed white, white and white.   So we drove back down the way we had come, slowly carefully, tensely.  Twenty minutes later we were below the clouds and our experience was already becoming funny.

The I took photos for this painting at the last overlook before we should have turned back.  Shortly after that, all was white.

I used the rough side  Canson Mi-Teins gray paper for this painting. Mi-Tieins paper has a chicken wire looking texture on the rough side which I intended to use for texture in the foreground.  Like detail and warm colors, texture advances.

I began by blocking in the mountains, big and small in hard pastels.   I lowered  back range a little to emphasize  the looming foreground mountain.  In retrospect I could have brought it down even further.

Then I worked down and from left to right.  Once again I worked the sky in PanPastels:  phthalo blue tint, white, ultramarine, and magenta.  I added some blue and purple soft pastels as well. The back range of mountains came next beginning with dark blue shade and lightening it up until  it look far enough back.  The darker background hills came next.

Finally I added the mountain in dark blues and greens.  I used burnt sienna tint to add the lighter areas, but color contrasted oddly with the sky, so I added light violets and greens as well.  When I  got the mountain modeled to my satisfaction I added the trees with a final layer of dark green soft pastels which I applied lightly to allow the texture of the paper to show through.  Lower down some of the gray paper itself shows through.

Prints available at Fine Art America.com.

SociBook del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon

The Sweet Shoppe

no comments
Sweet Shoppe (10 x 13)  $100.00

Sweet Shoppe (10 x 13) $100.00

This is another Central City Painting.  I started it this summer at the Artisan Village at the Oregon State Fair.  But I felt it lacked something and set it aside.   Yesterday when looking for something to paint at the gallery I picked it up again.

What got me started on the painting in the first place is the Victorian decoration.    I brightened the colors to go with the sweet shoppe theme.   The result was interesting, but lacked something.

Yesterday I decided what it needed was more omph, or in other words more contrast.  So I darkened up both the sky and the shadows and here it is.

The palate is cobalt and phthalo blue, quinacridone deep red rose, and cadmium yellow.


Or purchase a print at Fine Art America.com.

SociBook del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon

Clouds over Boot Hill

no comments
Clouds Over Boot Hill (9 x 12) $75.00

Clouds Over Boot Hill (9 x 12) $75.00

This is one more painting of the storm clouds gathering above Boot Hill in Central City. In this view the graves are not visible. Like the Dynamite Dome, I painted this one at Art in the Burbs in Tigard, Oregon. The palette and the method are the same.


Or purchase a print from Fine Art America.com.

SociBook del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon

Grass in the Window

no comments
Grass in the Window (10 x 14) $225.00

Grass in the Window (10 x 14) $225.00

Most of Central City is so well maintained that period-town would be a better description than ghost-town.   But some of the buildings  have been left to nature for some time.    Grass grows out of a low window in one such wall were two building used to abut each other.

If the wall ever had any mortar, it’s not visible now. The quality of the dry wall construction obviously varied greatly between the two buildings is backed.  On the right hand side the wall is neatly constructed and looks purposeful and solid. On the left hand side the stones are hardly squared at all are stacked more and more erratically the higher the wall gets.   Some stones near the window have fallen away, revealing the depth of the wall.

I began the stones by making an under-painting of phthalo blue.   The under-painting showed the shadows between the stones and some of the stronger shadows in the stones.  Phthalo blue is a great choice for under-painting because it is strongly staining and won’t wash up with successive layers of paint.  After the under-painting dried, I washed the stones wetly with burnt sienna and burnt sienna mixed with rose madder quinacridone. Washes of cerulean blue and phthalo blue mixed with burnt sienna followed. I built up the shadows slowly using the under-painting as a guide. Finally I splattered the rocks with various combination of cerulean blue, burnt sienna and burnt umber using a toothbrush. I smudged the splatters with a paper towel.

The window casing is burnt sienna, cerulean blue, new gamgee, and burnt umber. I applied the paint wet first and then in dry brushed layers.

The grass I masked before beginning the painting. I finished it with greens mixed from new gamgee and phthalo blue. I added the shadows over the window sill last.

I’ve always shied away from building detailed rock and wood like this because I was afraid I couldn’t get the textures right.  But I”m pleased with this and may do some more like it.


Or purchase a print at Fine Art America.com.

SociBook del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon

The Dynamite Dome

3 comments
The Dynamite Dome (9 x 12) $75.00

The Dynamite Dome (9 x 12) $75.00

This is another view of Central City’s Boot Hill. According to a gift shop owner in town, the odd brick dome was used to store dynamite. The storage dome was built in the graveyard because of the dangerS of storing explosives in town. Nothing about the dome proclaims it’s purpose, and it would be an odd mausoleum so I’m glad the gift shop owner was chatty. Otherwise, we would have gone away wondering.

She went on to tell us that the dome is on the Catholic side of the graveyard because the powers that be in the city were Protestant. The may be, but the Catholic side of the grave yard is both better tended and more populous than the Protestant side. Judging from the names on the stones, the Catholics in the 1800s were primarily Irish with a sprinkling of Slavs and Spanish miners. The other Boot Hill views I have have posted here have also been from the Catholic side. The monument I painted in Victorian Deadwood is from the Protestant side, but there are many more like it on the Catholic side.

I did this painting at a craft fair in Tigard last weekend along with a few more landscapes which I’ll post over the next few days.

The palette is cerulean blue, Prussian blue, cobalt blue, phthalo blue, new gamgee (yellow) and burnt sienna. I used cerulean for the sky and Prussian blue grayed with burnt sienna to define the clouds. I mixed all of the blues with new gamgee to create the greens for cemetery and hills. The dome itself is burnt sienna.


Or purchase a print from Fine Art America.com.

SociBook del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon

Before the Afternoon Rain

no comments
Before the Afternoon Rain (9 x 12) $100.00

Before the Afternoon Rain (9 x 12) $100.00

This is the Catholic side of Boot Hill above Central City, Colorado. The grave yard is in a park, a geological park that is, i.e. a high mountain flat open meadow. Most of the graves are old and overgrown and the plots appear to be spotted haphazardly across the field. Here and there are tended plots and even occasionally a new grave. But most of the graves date from the 1800s. Wild roses, daffodils, and onions mingle (the mountain ghost-town survivors) mingle with wildflowers and grasses.

I liked the way the coming afternoon storm lit up some parts of the graveyard but left others in shadow. I also loved the sky itself.

I planned the painting to be three quarters sky. I painted the sky first wet on wet mostly in Prussian blue grayed down with burn sienna. Prussian blue is perfect for storm clouds the color is almost perfect and it spreads out nicely into water. After I finished the sky, I began the hills and the mountain ridge in yellow ochre mixed with phthalo blue, cobalt blue and Prussian blue. But I got carried away with trees and painted them higher up into the sky than I’d intended. I thought briefly about cutting off the bottom part of the grass but decided against because the gravestones so clearly belong in the mid and background. I like it, but I’m tempted to do it over again and really emphasize the sky this time.


Or purchase a print at Fine Art America.com.

SociBook del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon

Tourists in Central City

no comments
Central City Tourists (10.5 x 12) $100.00

Central City Tourists (10.5 x 12) $100.00

The odd part about visiting Central City, Colorado this summer was the empty streets. The Central City of my childhood was packed with tourists. The parking lots were still packed, so I can only surmise that the tourists are all in the new casinos. But the lack of people on the streets, gave me a field day for unobstructed photography on the steep narrow streets.

I chose this particular photo to work from because of the way the light lit up only the upper half of the street. That the scene showed the slant of the street so clearly was a plus.

Because half the charm of the city is the painted Victorian ladies I moved away from my usual earth tone pallete. The pallete here was phthalo blue, cobalt blue, quinacridone red, and quinacridone gold.


SociBook del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon

Which Century?

no comments
Which Century (11 x 13) $125.00

Which Century (11 x 13) $125.00

We recently visited Central City, Colorado.  Like many “ghost towns” across the country, tourism has kept the once bustling mining town alive.  When I was girl the historic downtown was wall to wall novelty and gift shops broken only by cheap restaurants.  Tourist straggled up and down the steep streets buying post cards of jackalopes, shiny cedar boxes and souvenir spoons.

Most of the novelty shops are gone now. Casinos dominate the downtown now. The streets are quiet because the tourists are mostly inside the casinos gambling. But unlike in the 1800s the gamblers are senior citizens bused in rather than rough neck miners. I find it an ironic return to the past. But I liked the bustling streets better.

I still like the old downtown, and I took many pictures for future paintings. This one is of the Coyote Creek Casino and the Century building. My question is which century, the 19th, the 20th or the 21st? All three centuries are mingled in the Victorian building with 20th century signs and air-conditioning, and 21st century computers.

The light cast lovely shadows on the century building, but the bright light flattened the casino. After some thought, I added some shadow to the casino. I think it works a little better particularly on the upper story.


SociBook del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon