Park lands in the western states are being threatened on a daily basis. The natural beauty and stark intensity of desert lands just aren’t important to some people in power. The land is seen as valuable only in terms of what it can give up for money: mining, uranium, rooftops.
Close to my home are the Tucson Mountains, and the Sweetwater Trail, which still has National Park status, but lots of new rooftops dotting the pristine hills. I had a free day and went to walk the washes and animal trails just off the main human trail. Found a spot to set up and do an oil sketch.
It was so peaceful, yes warm because it has been the warmest recorded temps for this time of year, regardless of what some might say. But no snakes! Just coyotes howling a little in the distance and some birds rustling about.
During the Grand Reveal of their newest contemporary furniture collection, I will demonstrate desert landscape painting on October 1, 1-4pm.
Along with “Desert Italia” at Contents Interior, see my “Desert Dream” series of oil paintings. Selected large and small landscape oils – studio and plein air paintings from my studio will also be on view and for sale.
Wine Tasting * Food Tasting * Artist Demonstration (yours truly!) * Design Presentation * Italian Music * Door Prizes and more!
This Friday, the September Full Moon brings again Open Studios at the Metal Arts Village. I’ve been working on some small studies in oil of monsoon water flows from the creeks around southern Arizona. Looking forward to some cooler weather now!
Full Moon Open Studio is this Tuesday, at my studio in the Metal Arts Village, Tucson. I will be featuring this painting, a recent oil based on studies made of a special place in the wash at Rancho Linda Vista in Oracle, AZ.
In studio paintings, I like to let the mark making and color fly. Abstraction meets representation, and the painting becomes something more than the original study, which is more often than not painted on site.
Above is the small plein air study made of this prehistoric waterfall, mainly of the little top section, a very intriguing boulder conglomeration. This piece is 12 x 9″. The studio painting is 24 x 36″.
Located within the upper basin of the San Pedro River basin, Ramsey Canyon is a paradise for birding, nature watching, and plein air sketching and painting. It’s nice to compare the seasons as they unfold.
Last November as the leaves were in full color, we took advantage of a great opportunity to take the easel and paints out to the Ramsey Canyon nature preserve. The sketch was really about the brilliance of the color, and the forest environment.
A couple of months later, we returned to the preserve, and set up easels next to the beautifully running creek.
The light is gorgeous, the water running at a steady clip. Being mid-day, the sun was going to steadily move down, but we figured we had 2 1/2 good hours to paint..
The goal was to catch the light on the running water, the movement and transparency of the water flowing over the rocks.
A recent visit to the old ranch that was homesteaded in the 1870’s. Painting the ranch and landscape is part of a project to embrace the environment visually, as part of an effort to save the Santa Rita mountains and area from being devastated by the proposed Rosemont Mine.
The ranch is lonely and austere, and kept up by the Park Service. The structure I’m drawing in pastel is the old Hired Man’s House, an adobe structure also from the late 19th century.
Imagining the old west: cattle days and cowboy architecture. Wind, turkey vultures overhead and a glimpse into time that exists in the past, present and maybe the future.
For more information about Empire, go to empireranchfoundation.org. To learn about the project that opposes the building of the Rosemont Mine, go to: http://www.Lensontheland.com.
Landscape painting reminds me of what keeps me grounded and centered – connecting to the land and the wisdom and peace it offers.
This beautiful image above was taken by a friend who lives at Rancho Linda Vista in Oracle, Arizona, a magical place indeed. The Sonoran Desert is unique, dramatic, inspires inward journeys and (im)practical escapes. My dog Frida feels empowered too.
I had a show of landscape paintings last month at the Ranch gallery, in the old barn dating from the early years of the last century.
Some good people up from Tucson town listened to me talk about my process, the land, painting.
Below, “Aspen Grove”, 5 x 4 feet, oil on canvas, somewhere between reality and abstraction, states of consciousness, the spirit of the wood.