Monday, July 18, 2011

Maynard Dixon Residency #5

Paria Canyon in southern Utah is worth the half hour, bone jarring, dust covered drive from the highway. Movies were filmed back in there and you can see why. As you turn yourself around in a circle, the rocks vary in color dramatically. One location for filming could easily look like many on the screen. This watercolor was painted at a turn in the road while things were quiet in the morning. Remote as it was, a caravan of ATVs arrived as I was nearly finished. 30 of them slowly and kindly drove past me with many of them apologizing for the cloud of dust. I was glad to have gotten much of what I had hoped to paint on the paper as the procession slowly moved along.

Some of you have asked me about the annual Maynard Dixon Country show that I attended last year in UT. It is a fantastic way to see museum quality art that will most likely never be seen again in public. Some of the very best artists of our time bring their work to this show and you get to view it in a lovely gallery situation. Yes, no red velvet ropes or museum guards lurking. A lot of the big names in landscape painting are there to talk with during the opening. It’s a heady experience for an art lover… and the weather is great that time of year.

I like Glenn Dean’s paintings for this year’s show. Click Here
More MDC show info: Click Here

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Maynard Dixon Residency #4

Asked by others how many paintings I produced on my trip, I’d rather know how many total works will be influenced by my work out there. There’s a long lasting value to a residency like this. I see it affecting things in my current work and inspiration for great amounts in the future.

Returning to the site of my original sketch for the wall sculpture “In God’s Paintbox”, I was struck again by the difference lighting can make. Although this location was less exciting this time, the light and amazing rock colors that I remembered were experienced in several other locations during this trip. Back in my studio, I used samples of rocks and sand in the midday Austin sun diffused by plastic to replicate a bit of that great lighting to understand it better.

In Maynard’s cabin, I read in a book that some of his studio floors were painted sky blue with a rust red circle on the ceiling to combat too-cool lighting. Reading that acknowledged what I was seeing from the reflection, diffusion, and powerful UV midday light. With a fuller experience of the area, I am creating more paintings and sculptures in my studio.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Maynard Dixon Residency #3

Painted from the rise above Maynard Dixon’s studio near his favorite sitting rock for viewing the valley and mesas, I chose to paint the luscious spring green trees and mountain stream. The Texas drought we’re experiencing made it all the more inviting to celebrate the Utah Spring.