Friday, November 6, 2009

Chamisa Challenge

(Posted by Maggie)
In New Mexico, the colors of fall are mostly gold: golden aspen, golden cottonwoods, and golden chamisa. The chamisa are more plentiful across the valley in and near the foothills of the Sandia mountains, but there are some here and there on the west side of the city. We have access to a wonderful trail that begins just across the street about a half block away, and we try to walk there nearly every day. There aren't many trees, but the views of the mountains are wonderful, and we frequently see quail, roadrunners, jack rabbits and bunnies. Once in a great while we see a coyote, but it's more common to hear them than see them. About a mile along the trail, there's an area where a lot of chamisa grow. We watched them turn from their summer colors of bluish-green to the fall greens and the spectacular yellow blossoms.

I painted this mostly with a brush, but saved the chamisa blossoms for the palette knife. I like the texture of the blossoms that the knife created. The ability to create surface texture is one of the things that's luring me back into working with oils.

The chamisa are fading fast and the cottonwoods are turning brown. It's sad to see the brilliant stage of fall ending, but there's always the anticipation of snow on the mountain and the chance to paint it.

Above, Chamisa, 5x7, oil/panel, ©Maggie Price, $75

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