Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Santa Fe: A Slice of Sky



Slice of Santa Fe©2009 C.L.Burgess oil on paper 9x4"



Thermal Yellowstone by Clyde Aspevig National Cowboy Museum OK

When in Oklahoma City, I was able to visit the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. It was there that I got to see many of my most admired living painters. I did not have but two hours to visit before heading out to New Mexico, so I chose my exhibits carefully. The first three paintings I saw were that of William Whitaker, Clyde Aspevig and Scott Christensen.
Since I have been steeped in the open sky for days, that is what I sought to learn about from these painters. By the way, this museum is not at all stuffy. The guards are chatty and congenial, the work in some areas can be photographed up close without a person being hauled away or scrutinzed beyond reality. It is with this sharing attitude that I posted this image, for educational purposes only! It is part of a private collection of contemporary artists on exhibit for a short time.
Of course, there was so much more I absorbed. Mostly brushwork and color harmonies and those edges we are all taught to respect. Simplicity is not easily attained but the images I found myself drawn to were those which supported the 'less is more' strategy. In his image called Thermal Yellowstone, Aspevig hits that mark.
I have tried to paint mist;not easy and in this work, he's done it masterfully. Such a compelling image!The subject is a closeup of a hot spring. Simple in idea, color and composition; complexity in brushwork. Less is so much more.
With that thought, I painted this small work. Lofty goals!
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