Sacred Canyon

8″x10″ oil on panel

Christ in the Desert Abbey is one of my favorite places to be in this world.  I love to chant to Psalms with the monks, I love the gift of silence, and I love to paint the Canyon walls.

One the best field trips I take my workshops on is to the sacred place.  The guest master has been so kind to give my students a behind the scenes tour of the beautiful art and murals.  This trip we had the chance to share our day making art with one of the brothers who is also a painter.  The day was a gift, and I am grateful for it.

Ghost House

7″ x5″ oil on panel

In addition to a rich history including Georgia O’Keefe and the Archelto brothers, Ghost House courtyard has been a special place of gathering and building community.  I love to paint in the shade of those cottonwood trees.

Diptych – importance of planning

24″x18″ and 12″x 18″ 

I sketched out this large diptych, started painting it, and realized it would a stronger composition if I had flipped the 1/3 and 2/3 panels.  I could have avoided having to redraw this with a simple thumbnail sketch.

Very simply, a diptych is a drawing or painting in two parts. The format of the pictures may be landscape or portrat, but they will usually be the same size. It is sometimes a continuous but divided image, or may be composed of separate, closely related images.  When I paint them I try to make each panel stand on its own, but create a better image together.

Vouched for Lightening

10″x8″ oil on panel.  Plein Air

The part of the picture you cannot see…

I have an artist friend named Ginny who lives in Denver/ Taos.  On lucky years our paths cross at Ghost Ranch and we have a chance to paint together.  We had a beautiful evening to paint, in addition to a fantastic lightning storm, there was an even more lively ultimate frisbee match on the lawn in front of us.  In chairs scattered around were readers reading, old friends reconnecting, and spectators enjoying the show.   If the colors seem muted, it was dusk, and…I was contented.

Dry underpainting in soft pastel


7″x5″ pastel on sanded paper

Below is my underpainting, I blocked in analogous colors in 3 values of pastel and I did not wash it in with alcohol.  That is called a “dry underpainting”, I feel like the warm colors added to the hot dry feeling of the day.