Class Notes on Painting Glass

For the next few weeks in class we will be taking time to focus on glass. First, clear glass, that being the simplest. I love to paint glass and take a less-is-more approach that allows the eye of the viewer to fill in the blanks. The clear bottle at the top is only visible because of its highlights and that's the key to clear glass - it has to be clear. Shading on the inside, darker or lighter, makes the glass look dirty or even take on the appearance of something that is ceramic. Add a strong highlight and it will look shiney but it won't be clear glass. The painting below deals with colored glass; more about that later.

San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center ARTIUM

Right before leaving for Ghost Ranch I hung my Solo show at the San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center. Curated by Katherine Benke and Insight Art Connection this show has been in the planning for almost a year. I have been looking forward to showing here for a lot longer than that though. The ARTRIUM Gallery at the SLV Medical Center is such a beautiful venue and the perfect place for my large pieces. The hospital already owns 7 of my paintings (several of which are plein air) in their permanent collection so I have been anxious to have a showing in the 2nd Floor ARTIUM. Though many of my large paintings have gone off to galleries in Durango, Boulder and Cheyenne, these pieces, I think represent the best of my studio work, as well as the most recent.
The show will hang until December 6th.


Snow, and it isn't even Halloween

Snow flakes the size of quarters fell in Colorado Sunday night and Monday. Nature is telling me to get inside but I really don't want to listen.


Goodbye to the High Desert Painters

A storm is moving in and it is time to say "Goodbye" to Ghost Ranch for another year. The High Desert Painters are headed to Taos to have dinner with Walt Gonske and paint for a few days. From left to right are: Judy Howells and Nita Harper, both from California, myself, - and sitting down is Ann Templeton, who is now living in Texas, Janis Loverin from Ruidoso, New Mexico and Jana Van Wyk from North Carolina. We are missing Nelson Hubley who lives in Nova Scotia and could not be with us; actually he was in Paris. Imagine - passing on Ghost Ranch to go to Paris. Gee!
My Ghia is packed up and before the day is out will have navigated some serious 4 wheeling roads in a small caravan of cars through the Taos Gorge; scenic, scary but the Ghia is very sure footed. No worries. It was fun to spend time with Walt, who is so gracious and happy to show us his newest work; always amazing, always wonderful, always inspiring.
It is "goodbyes" all around, for me, as a torrential rain comes on. We will be seeing an early snow north in Colorado and I am anxious to get home before dark.
In a lot of ways this trip with the High Desert Painters marks the end of my official painting out season. Fall is fading along with warm weather and although I will continue to paint in the landscape all winter, the Plein Air Paint Outs are over. I am looking forward to starting some big studio work
- maybe tomorrow.

The Last One

Friday morning the High Desert Painters hiked (or drove) up to a high mesa to paint: the view of the Pedernal, the cliffs, the cottonwoods, - each other. Janis Loverin had positioned herself toward a valley view and I was fascinated by the shapes of the little casitas (little cabins) behind her. Ghost Ranch has a lot of these little casitas tucked into nooks in the landscape; some are pretty rustic, or charming, depending on if you are staying in one or not.
It was a very sunny morning and got quite warm, even hot. I tried to communicate that feeling of intense sun, in the painting.

Mid week road trip to Chimayo

In the middle of the week Jana Van Wyk, Janis Loverin and I took a trip to the little town of Chimayo, about and hour away from Ghost Ranch - east. The famous church there is a tourist hot spot and pilgrimage destination in New Mexico. I painted the sanctuario last May, just as the trees surrounding it were beginning to bud.
I painted this view from the road looking down on the church in the late afternoon. We later met the rest of our painting group for dinner at the Abiquiu Inn. The end of a really beautiful day. Kathleen Strukoff took this photo; check out her work on her website at www.kathleenstrukoff.com.

The Looming Mesa

This is my take on Kitchen Mesa - much closer and from a slightly different angle. It has always struck me how tiny the dining hall looks tucked in the trees under the mesa.


Ghost Ranch, New Mexico

It doesn't get more scenic than this. I am looking S/E across the lower conference grounds toward the dining hall and Kitchen Mesa which is the large mesa on the left. As soon as I get it photographed I will post my painting of said dining hall and mesa.


More Ghost Ranch, New Mexico

My view from in front of the Ghost Ranch Conference Center. The landscape is very warm and the day was perfect and cloudless. I think this is a keeper.

The Pedernal or Georgia's Mountain

A landmark in this part of the country, the Pedernal was immortalized by Georgia O'Keefe who is said to have claimed ownership of it - but I doubt the natives would concur. Everyone paints it and I have see Ann Templeton do at least 5 demos of it. Cliche it may be, but you have to paint it at least once, and I don't know how many times I've done it.
The cottonwoods are usually brilliant at this time of year and almost glow from within.
The top photo is an 8x10 I did about 4 years ago on an overcast day; the bottom version is a 6x8 I painted on Monday of last week and it was a sunny afternoon.

Ghost Ranch Holiday with High Desert Painters

Ready or not- there I went and arrived at Ghost Ranch Sunday afternoon to meet up with Ann Templeton and the High Desert Painters. We are an international group of 7 painters from all over the country and Nova Scotia, who sometimes travel together, but meet every year at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico.