Hazey Days of Summer

June came to Colorado in smokey haze and in spite of high wind warnings Sue and I took the easels out to the east end of town to paint some urban junk that had been tempting us for weeks. We stood out between derelict tanks, broken down shacks and abandoned rail cars; all this combined with a sky the color of the dirt - made for a rather gritty piece.
As it turns out, smoke from the big fire in Arizona was blowing into the Valley turning our beautiful skies gray. In the end we only lasted about 2 hours before wind and blowing dirt sent us running for cover.

I have been thinking about mark making lately. Sounds like 'Drawing', but feels like the only apt description of what I have been considering as I paint; using tools, other than a brush, to apply, lift, move the paint around - make marks - and not just for the heck of it, but to give a sense of the image and even the character of the day.
At the risk of sounding too technique-y, I think there is place for mark making that is harsh, chiseled - broken - in service of the imagery. That would also imply a place for the soft, goojey, wispy or globby, all those technical terms. In the case of this painting, trying to convey a gritty and gray day amidst the abandoned urban junk;
soft and beautiful brushwork need not apply.
This is the envelope I am pushing right now. What I have done here is hardly dangerous, but it's been on my mind. My graduate drawing professor, Gene Schilling talked about drawing like it was a force to be reckoned with; an invitation to the dark side.
Hmmm. . . .

Still Friends - after all these paintings

And still smiling - even after months of painting, working and planning.
Thanks Dave and Sue.
Thanks to everyone who drove up from the Valley to Creede for our opening at the Repertory Theater Gallery and to folks in Creede who supported us.
The whole project went so well that we are taking this show on the road and will open at the SteamPlant Event Center in Salida on December 17th with a party at 4 pm. The Salida show will highlight plein air work done together this summer and into the fall.
My mountain sunset,
"Late Show" - to the right,
was the first sale of this show.