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Art Adventures Southwest Blog

Painting Outdoors in New Mexico


Today is the first day of Spring. I am ready to paint outdoors again, now that it is getting warm. There are many painting spots that I love in Santa Fe. I often bring my students to these great plein air painting locations for pastel classes.

In front of the Randall Davey Audubon Center, there are two large cottonwoods shading a sturdy, old adobe, and in the Orchard of the Audubon Center, there's a layered view that starts with the gardens, proceeds to the coral colored adobe and emerges in the mountains. I also enjoy painting in Cerro Gordo Park. The view of Sun Mountain is also layered, first the rows of chamisa, then the pinon/juniper, a few small adobes clustered in between, then cottonwoods, then mountains, then sky. The sky is always a surprise here in New Mexico - often a radiant blue, but sometimes a looming grey - never just grey though, always more purple than grey. And I have many favorite places to paint and hold art classes out in Abiquiu, where O'Keeffe spent many creative years. The picture above is me, a year ago March, painting en plein air at Ghost Ranch. I have three classes scheduled so far out at Ghost Ranch; one of them is a residential workshop in the Fall. I plan on getting out there soon, on my own for four or five days, at least - I'll keep you posted!

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