Thursday, June 19, 2008

Postcards from New Mexico

A few months ago, I bought a packet of postcard-shaped watercolor pages.

You can paint your image on one side, address the other, and send them off. I had not found inspiration to use them in Oregon, so I brought them with me to New Mexico.

New Mexico has incredible natural and human-made features that have been inspiring artists for centuries, if not millennia.

The light there is incomparable to anywhere else, especially at sunrise and sunset. I find it nearly impossible to sleep in , afraid I'll miss another great sunrise.

I had no trouble finding subjects to paint. I painted in my rental vehicle, on benches at wildlife refuges, and at my friend's house in Bosque Farms.

Flowering cacti at Bosque Del Apache

Bosque at sunset from Herp Tech

Cliff swallow in nest at Bosque Del Apache

While visiting one of my study sites, I collected some deep red soil that is probably derived from Abo Formation shale.

I stained some of the postcards with the soil, to capture one of the dominant regional colors.

I experimented with painting over the soil and adding the soil to cards already painted. Here are the results:

Hot air balloon from Petroglyphs National Monument, watercolor painted on paper previously stained with soil.

Building in Old Town Plaza, Albuquerque, ink on paper later stained with soil, then painted with watercolor

Kachina in Old Town watercolor on paper, later stained with soil

Black-chinned hummingbird at Herp Tech, watercolor on paper previously stained with soil

Mazano Mountains from Airport, watercolor on paper previously stained with soil

I touched up my paintings in the Albuquerque airport before boarding my departing flight. I sent a few away to Sarah and my parents, but I will keep the rest for myself as reminders of a great trip..

1 comment:

Birdnerd said...

Last night I watched a film called Off The Map which took place in NM. While the film was not a 10, it did make me want to travel to NM ASAP! Now you're helping the urge to grow.....soon, soon.