Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Summer ART Road Trip to Fun and Inspiration

~~JUNE 2015~~

Hot-blooded Desert, 8x10 Landscape Painting, scene near Las Cruces, NM

Paul and I left on June 2nd, my birthday, and headed West on a Road Trip Adventure.  Our first stop was Van Horne, Texas.  We stayed at the historic El Capitan, built in 1930, and enjoyed its welcoming ambience along with a fine dinner.  We also celebrated our 14th Wedding Anniversary, a little early, since it's not till the 23rd. 

Desert Colors, 8x10 Landscape Painting

When I see the desert, I view a landscape with bold colors and shapes.  The details and colors of the century plants and cactus in the foreground, paired with the simple shapes and receding palette of the mountains in the background, gave me helpful contrasts for my composition.  I also added a moody sky with the threat of a summer storm.  On our drive from Van Horne, Texas, to Las Cruces, New Mexico, I saw lots of scenes similar to the one above that I painted.  


Sky Watching over Albuquerque,  11x14 Landscape Painting

One of the reasons that I wanted to travel to Albuquerque was so that I could attend the IAPS Convention, International Association of Pastel Societies.  I had looked forward to the workshops, trade show, demos, juried art exhibit, and more.  Paul and I stayed at the Blue Hotel on the sixth floor.  I saw lots of sunsets from our balcony.  The sky was preparing for a beautiful sunset when I painted this landscape.  I liked the multi-colored rooftops of the city and of course, the lovely and soft sky colors of the Southwest.  

Pink Flamingo at the Route 66 Diner

Night at the Route 66 Diner, 16x20 painting of Albuquerque
SOLD to Susan Noonan, July 1, 2015

Paul and I love diners.  In fact, we have a booth and jukebox in our kitchen so that we have our own diner at home.  We had stopped at the Route 66 Diner the last time we traveled to Albuquerque, so we wanted to treat ourselves to another stop on this trip.  This diner also had that '50's vibe that lets you time travel and eat comfort food too.  All Good!  When we pulled up that night for dinner, there was a classic pick-up truck parked by itself.  The bright neon lights of the diner bathed the truck in its colorful light.  The image stuck in my mind.  I knew this was a painting before I headed in to be seated inside.  


Early Evening in Old Towne, 18x24 Landscape Painting with Architecture

Old Towne Albuquerque had a Fiesta Festival the weekend we stayed there.  We looked out from the balcony of one of our favorite art galleries to the square and its sights and sounds.  The smell of tacos, the laughter of children playing games, and the sound of a local band playing their lively music made us smile.  Across from the festival, a grouping of beautiful buildings caught my eye.  I loved the Spanish architecture.  I also couldn't help but notice the approaching navy and turquoise night sky, and the nearby glowing cloud that hung over us like a welcoming friend.  That memorable night inspired this painting, Early Evening in Old Towne. 

BIG Bend's Scott's Oriole, 5x7 ovals
Tufted Flycatcher of BIG Bend

Chisos Mountains of BIG Bend,
9x12 plein air painting near the Chisos Mountain Lodge

Big Bend National Park in West Texas was our last stop on our road trip as we made our way home to San Antonio.  We stayed at the Chisos Mountain Lodge, hiked some of the trails, and I painted plein air while visiting.  The park's recent rains gave it a lively look of wildflowers and cactus blooms along with a green haze that it hadn't had in the recent past-- due to the severe drought across Texas.  I loved the mountain landscapes there.  The sunsets were also amazing.  I am looking forward to painting some of those in the future from the many photo references I have.  I also did some birding while there.  I found some of the birds on my checklist and photographed them.  One night while at the lodge's restaurant, I kept hearing a tapping sound behind me.  I looked around and noticed a black, white, and yellow bird tapping on the window.  Its mate was watching nearby.  Amy, our waitress, informed us that it was a flashy male called Scott's Oriole.  He loved looking at his reflection in the glass and brought his mate along so she could admire him as well.  The second bird -- the Tufted Flycatcher-- was one I discovered on a nearby tree off the patio of the lodge.  There were lots of insects at Big Bend due to the recent rains so I guess the flycatcher had lots to eat.  I was attracted to its tufted headdress and soft-looking feathers. 
I hope you'll check out my SOLO Summer Art Show coming up.  It's located at the Candlelight Cafe and Coffeehouse at 3011 N. St. Mary's in San Antonio.  My artwork will be on display and for sale~~ July and August. 
Lastly, I have good news to share.  I have been invited to join a new gallery in Rockport, Texas, the Yellow Rose, 209 S. Austin St.  It's owned by Barbara Newell.  The gallery opened today and the ribbon cutting ceremony was last night.  I'm excited about this beautiful Fine Art Gallery -- as one of the places I can share my artwork with others.  Thanks, Barbara!
Happy Summer!