My glitch at the Petroglyphs

'Petroglyphs, part 1' oil on panel 6x8in


I ventured out to a unique and mysterious place in Albuquerque called “The Petroglyphs”.  It a bunch of black lava rock and some of these rocks have carvings of images done by natives a long time ago.  It’s also a beautiful spot to paint, especially since it was a balmy 72 and sunny, so I had to be out today.



I usually walk down a desert trail then venture off away from any onlookers, as I wanted this to be a private moment between nature and myself.  Nothing wrong with that, but I like my solitude when I paint.

Of course there were glitches in my plan.  When I opened my french easel, it seems that I forgot to stick a red.  All I had was some blue and yellows and a white.  So that’s what I used for this painting.  A Phthalo blue, which is a very intense blue.  Could be used for a tropical ocean or a turquoise color when mixed with a little yellow.  And I also had two yellows, a lemon yellow and cadmium med. yellow.  Warm and cool.  I never used a palette without a red, so I took it as a challenge.  The show must go on.  I felt like experimenting with all the green and blue possibilities.  Time stood still as I began to bond with my scene.

After 20 minutes, it was all done.

But I might go back and put some red back later, who knows.

I love how the sky turned out, but I felt there wasn’t much I could do with the values, it seems my range was limited with the colors in front of me.  In the end it may be more of an abstract painting.

But I don’t care.

I did some work today.

Just showing up I felt I won half the battle

And I understood why I enjoy being a painter.  I’ve got to get some kind of recorder to get my thoughts right then and there.  Boy that would help!