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Plein Air Froid...

First Plein Air Painters of Oregon outing to Tumalo Falls....whew...cold. I must admit, I am a desert painter, but this is always good practice. I did this in about 45 minutes (rushed along by the temperature). I am trying for a looser style...and rushing helps!

Having painted almost every day (except when traveling) this winter gave me more confidence to simply take on a challenge...the cold and also a scene that is not one of my favorites to paint. There are a lot of mountain/stream painters..they don't need one more.
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Paola Weaving (while her son watches)

This painting (my second of Paola weaving) is of a Tarahumara woman weaving in her home, while her son watches. I was privledged to be invited into her house. These people who live in the Copper Canyon of Mexico live very modest lives...but the simplicity is also very restful. However, since they are quite poor, I have decided to contribute a portion of any sales of this series directly to them. We have found a person who delivers (on horseback!) school and medical supplies and food. Some of the Taharahumara live in extremely remonte areas and may only make it into the nearby (not so nearby) town occasionally.
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A Full Day of Painting...

This was a busy day for me...or a full day. I felt that being out of town for so long that I had "pent up demand" for painting...and real demand. I have 3 solo shows this summer and need to get working on them! This 16 x16 painting of an abandoned house will be in my Tumalo Show --Overlooked Oregon...painting places that are off the beaten path, and places that are likely not to survive much longer.
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Finished Tarahumara Painting

Here is the final version (maybe) of the painting I started two days ago. As you can see I went in and completed the detail on the tree, and the woman...and also worked on the shadows.
Intend to do several more in this series of Tarahumara people...they really struck a cord in me.
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Experiment--documenting a painting while a work in progress

Step 1--composition, Step 2 values
I will be teaching a class this coming month, and thought it might be interesting to see if I follow my own recommendations. So I am photographing a work as I paint it. (It is hard to remember to take the photos, however, as I get absorbed in the painting.) This first shows that I tinted the substrate (linen board) with a light wash of red and orange. I then drafted the composition in slightly darker red, and established the values...the darkest darks (behind rocks in foreground) and the lightest values...the sky. I blocked in some mid tones, and tomorrow I will go for more detail in cliffs.
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Finally...painting again.

Paola Weaving (in her home in the Copper Canyon)
I came back from the Copper Canyon with some wonderful photos of the Tarahumara Indians...the most un changed indigenous people in Mexico. This is the first of a series I hope to do. I had the privilege of visiting Paola (and two of her sons) at her home in a valley leading to Urique. She weaves the most wonderful baskets. With her permission I took a picture of her weaving by her wood stove.
I intend to do several versions of this painting as the scene is very compelling.
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Back Briefly...

We got back from our Copper Canyon Trip (Mexico) yesterday...while I had planned on painting a lot (watercolor) in Mexico, I was only able to get three paintings done. We hiked, rode the train, took vans for 6 hour trips over unpaved roads down into the canyon...amazing place. In Batapilas I felt as removed from our world as I felt at the tip of South America...even more removed. But I wonder when I will get back to a painting a day...tomorrow I plan one before we leave for Provo to see the vast Maynard Dixon exhibit...then back to painting, if I still remember how!!!
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Do stop at the Maynard Dixon Museum

Mark Sublette's Medicine Man Gallery has a wonderful collection of Maynard Dixon paintings...not the huge, familiar ones (those are in Provo or in private colletions--e.g. Diane Keeton, Linda Ronstadt, etc.) but small wonderful paintings, drawings and sketches. There is also a huge collection of his paintings that were hidden for years...he signed them "Nvorczk." These exotic pieces were "under the bed" paintings, but recently his son has sold them, and a large collection is at Medicine Man Gallery. They are on the web, and definitely worth a look!

Well, tomorrow we are off to the land of no email/cell phone...but lots of banditos...Sonora, Chihuahus and Sineola...looking forward to great scenery, and no narco-hoods or federales!
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Brief Hiatus

Nonew paintings will appear on this site for a couple of weeks. We are off on an adventure in Mexico...remote parts (great timing...just heard that there is martial law in areas near our destination!)..Sonora, etc. Am bringing my watercolor paints so may have some nice little sketches for future paintings...
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