Southwest Sun

This cool plant is called a Bear’s Breech and is originally native to the Mediterranean. The leaves are believed to have been the design inspiration for the top of Corinthian columns in Greek-Roman architecture. A couple of years ago Jack spotted a few of them stuck away on a back shelf at Home Depot. We’d never heard of a Bear’s Breech but decided to give it a try in our garden. A dear friend calls this a “Bear Claw” and it’s in its glory this time of year. The bloom stalks grow to about five feet tall and our hummingbirds love them.

Back to painting, our Taos gallery needs a replacement piece. My initial sketch on the canvas is very simple, just the basic elements and shadow patterns are indicated. The adobe is painted first, followed by the dark areas on the red door. A mix of Cadmium Red Deep + Alizarin Crimson is used for the shadow.

The highlight on the door is Cadmium Red Light. After painting the floor I grab my mahl stick to steady my hand while blocking in the sun face. Color remaining from the terra-cotta floor tile is used for the wall ornament.

White Spanish Jasmine draping over the door extends a welcoming fragrance to all who enter. The Salvia is blocked in with several mixes of Dioxazine Purple + Ultramarine Blue + White. The flowers are painted first, then the foliage is worked around the purples. Working in this sequence allows the color of the blossoms to remain crisp and clean. Had I painted the greens of the foliage first, the flowers would have become muddy.

Southwest Sun     17″ x 14″      Original Oil Painting

Hollyhocks brighten the lower left corner of the painting. Their blossoms are different mixtures of Permanent Rose + Cadmium Orange + White. The dark foliage of the Hollyhocks acts to stop the light coming into the painting from the right. The viewer’s eye follows the stalks up to the White Spanish Jasmine. The tendrils of the vine then direct the gaze over the arch of the red door to the Southwest Sun on the wall.

Thank you for visiting our studio today. And don’t forget, my eBay auction for Cassis Vineyards ends Friday. CLICK HERE to go to the auction. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

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