After few days at the Canyon of the Ancients Guest Ranch I am back in the studio. Heifers needed to be branded and ear-tagged, young boys had to be turned into steers, lambs had to be tagged and banded (castrated) and cows had to be moved to better pastures, horses had to be trained and ridden, fences and gates had to be checked… I love it. Now I need to paint again. Photos below by Andrea Skalleberg.
Simon and his sweet Anna-Karin visited for 10-11 days and it was hard to leave them to go to the studio. We saw and did a lot of stuff around Santa Fe, it was a good, really good time. But today I was able to focus well in the studio again. While driving through the desert landscapes I have been observing how the light works and how the distant mountains look. Work in progress… but tomorrow we are off for a few days of serious ranch work.
… I am actually pretty pleased with this! Maybe because I had no expectations and since I have been avoiding it for so long. This piece is 60 x 120 cm (about 24″ x 48″). I need to come up with a title. The dog is our neighbors’ wonderful Sammie, she was a fantastic hiking buddy. The river is Rio Grande and the flat area is Calabasa Arroyo. I may be galloping in that arroyo tomorrow. Sammie is looking out from Buckman Mesa. Los Alamos, where the atom bomb was invented, is a short distance to the right. Maybe the title should simply be “Hiking with Sammie”?
This has to be one of the most difficult paintings I have worked on. As I have said many times: I am not a landscape painter. Not a good one, anyways. But I have been painting a lot of landscapes recently and I always feel like I am way outside my comfort zone, but some of my recent landscapes I am pretty happy with! But it takes a while to see them with fresh eyes. Now, this one is different. I have to use a lot of imagination and I must remind myself to add layers upon layers of paint to create depth and texture. And it takes a lot of patience to keep working when it looks flat and ugly. This piece has been sitting in my studio for a long time and I have been avoiding it, but now I am at work on it again and am actually enjoying it! I have no idea if it will turn out ok, but that does not really matter so much. I just consider it a good practice in painting. A long way to go still…
Not much has been done in the studio lately, but I am back and things are happening again. I have been distracted by ranch life and my new passion: horses. I have to admit I am getting a bit obsessed about learning as much as I possibly can about riding and being around horses. I am a late beginner and there is a LOT to learn. Last week at the amazing Canyon of the Ancients Guest Ranch, I helped ranch hand Trevor move the cows from a remote area on the ranch back to green pastures and water. It has not rained since September and it is dry out there. I am riding the Morgan horse they have had at the ranch for some years. His name is Little Dan, but I have re-named him Rambo, since he can be rambunctious – he has hardly been ridden in the past two years and he needs a lot of re-training. He is a beautiful horse! The last picture is showing young cows around some bales of hay – seven of the heifers will be ours tomorrow!
Here are finally pictures from my ongoing show at Hunt Modern in Santa Fe. Lauren Hunt buys high quality, collectible furniture from Europe and does careful restoration and sells them here, to people who know to appreciate these treasures! I am very happy to have a solo show in her classy showroom and I am very pleased with how the art and furniture complement each other. Enjoy these photos!