Tag Archives: New Mexico

Cottonwood Calm

Cottonwood Calm 14x11 inches Acrylic ©2008 Lucinda Howe $325

Cottonwood Calm
14×11 inches
Acrylic
©2008 Lucinda Howe
$325

Bright yellow cottonwood trees light up the Rio Grand valley between Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico in the autumn. This painting reminds me of several trips to that area to paint with friends. I remember a lovely relaxing lunch under these trees near Embudo. The sunny colors in this painting make me happy and hopeful that I can go back to New Mexico again some day.

This week I’ve been reviewing my inventory of paintings and selecting work for an exhibition at Still Hopes Episcopal Retirement Community opening in October. I think it’s a useful exercise to look back through several years of painting and try to identify threads of continuity. Perhaps because I’ve been writing about trees recently, I realized that trees are a common theme in my work. Wherever my plein air excursions take me, I’m often attracted by a tree line or a backlit silhouette. The shapes evoke specific places in my memory. With this in mind, I have titled my exhibition Abiding Trees. I’ll be writing more about the exhibition in the next few weeks. I hope you will plan to stop by Still Hopes and see it between October 3 and November 29, 2016.

Posted in Acrylics Also tagged |

Rough Ground

Rough Ground 24x30" Oil on gallery wrap canvas ©2014 Lucinda Howe $1,400 www.lucindahowe.com

Rough Ground
24×30″
Oil on gallery wrap canvas
©2014 Lucinda Howe
$1,400
www.lucindahowe.com

The landscape and artistic history of northern New Mexico are dominated by Pedernal, the mountain that was a favorite of Georgia O’Keeffe.  But walking the paths of Ghost Ranch, I find that the rugged landscape grabs my attention and pushes the mountain to the background.

This painting was painted over an old painting with some of the old painting allowed to show through.  That technique works well with the dusty strata of red rocks in the New Mexico landscape.

Posted in Oil Painting Also tagged |

Chamisa along the Fence Line

Chamisa along the Fence Line 12x12"  Oil on gallery wrap canvas ©2014 Lucinda Howe

Chamisa along the Fence Line
12×12″
Oil on gallery wrap canvas
©2014 Lucinda Howe
$500

 

In autumn in New Mexico, the chamisa along the roadside glows against the dark blue of the mountains.

Posted in Oil Painting

Lone Piñon

Lone Piñon 14x11" Oil on gallery wrap canvas ©2014 Lucinda Howe

Lone Piñon
14×11″
Oil on gallery wrap canvas
©2014 Lucinda Howe

The dusty ochre colors of the New Mexico landscape form a dramatic background for the sculptural shape of the old piñon tree.

For this painting, I experimented with using a black gesso ground.  The effect is not as vibrant as a red ground under the greens of the southeast, but it is a good base for the red rocks of the southwest.

 

Posted in Oil Painting Also tagged |

Behind the Lodge

Behind the Lodge Oil on gallery wrap canvas 12x12" ©2014 Lucinda Howe $500

Behind the Lodge
Oil on gallery wrap canvas
12×12″
©2014 Lucinda Howe
$500

After painting several low country South Carolina scenes recently, I wanted a change from flat marshes and palmetto trees, so  I decided to paint one of my other favorite places. This path is behind the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico.  The early fall color of the yellow chamisa reminds me of cool dry air and the fragrance of roasting green chiles.

 

Posted in Oil Painting

Is a Painting Ever Finished?

Autumn on the Rio Grande 24x18"  Acrylic on board ©2014 Lucinda Howe

Autumn on the Rio Grande
24×18″
Acrylic on board
©2014 Lucinda Howe

This painting was completed several years ago after a trip to New Mexico.  It was framed and displayed for sale.   This weekend I was taking inventory and evaluating old paintings.  Several were bad enough that I just gessoed over them.  This one had possibilities, so I took it out of the frame and repainted parts of it using some techniques from Carolina Jasper‘s workshop.   I added more value contrast in the foreground and decreased value and color contrast in the distant mountains to add depth.   I also changed an overbearing orange sky to blue.  Now I like it much better.

Do you ever do take a painting out of the frame and rework it?   How do you know when it is finished?

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Acrylics

Rio Grande Gorge

 

Rio Grande

Rio Grande Gorge
8×10″
Oil on gessobord
©2012 Lucinda Howe

 

Glimpses of the Rio Grande gorge are a defining feature of the drive toward Taos, New Mexico.  In autumn the yellow chamisa and fast-moving thunderstorms add drama to the rugged landscape.  This painting is another in my series using oil paints applied with painting knives.

 

 

Posted in Oil Painting Also tagged |

Fauvism: Part 2

Georges Braque was another French artist who was influenced by Matisse and Derain.   He painted in the Fauvist style for a short period before evolving toward cubism.  See several examples of his work in this article:  http://www.artexpertswebsite.com/pages/artists/braque.php

In House Behind the Trees, the red and purple tree trunks and bright yellow roof are examples of the arbitrary color favored by the Fauves while the light and dark values allow the subject matter to be clearly recognizable.  Bits of red carry the eye around the composition.  Landscape at La Ciotat ventures even further into pure color. Complementary colors (opposites on the color wheel such as blue/orange or purple/yellow-green) are juxtaposed to create visual vibration.  In both of these pieces dark outlines add linear elements, and the composition is enhanced with pattern.  As with the other Fauves, simplified shapes suggest the landscape, but keep focus on brilliant color.

First Light, Acrylic, 14x11"

My paintings often include many of the Fauvist ideas.  Painting on location, I capture shapes that characterize the place, then look for complementary colors and exaggerate the contrast.  In this piece, from Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, the early morning light touched the tops of the cliffs and tips of the trees, while the canyon walls and red dirt road remained in deep shadows. So I enhanced the colors using the contrast of blue with orange and green with red.

Posted in Fauvism Also tagged , , , |

Revival of Fauvism

In the Post Impressionist period of the early 20th century, a group of artists experimented with bold, expressive color and defined brushstrokes.   They were influenced by Vincent VanGogh and Paul Gaugin who had begun using more intense colors.  Where the Impressionists had concentrated on capturing the effects of light, these artists moved toward using color for its own sake.  The group because known as Les Fauves, French for “wild beasts” after a derisive remark from art critic Louis Vauxcelles. Leaders of the movement, Ande Derain and Herni Matisse, used brilliant reds and yellows to draw the eye and juxtaposition of complements (opposites on the color wheel) to create visual excitement. Other Fauves included Albert Marquet, Maurice de Vlaminck, and Raoul Dufy. Although Fauvism was short-lived, it was an important step toward cubism and expressionism.

A Mighty Rock, 11x14", Acrylic

I believe that Les Fauves only scratched the surface of the possibilities of combining expressive color with shapes inspired by the natural and built world.  Today’s understanding of color theory and technical advances in art materials allow creative freedom beyond the reach of the early Fauves.

In future editions of the newsletter, we will explore works of both historical and contemporary Fauvist painters.  If you have questions about Fauvism or know of contemporary Fauves, please post comments.

Posted in Fauvism Also tagged , |