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Atalaya Mountain - Original Watercolor Painting

11"W x 7"H x 0.1"D

$200 (Shipping Included)

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Charles Ash

SANTA FE, NM

Medium: Painting

Subject Tags: santa fe, new mexico, mountains, southwest, contemporary, landscape

Media: watercolor on paper

Size: 11"W x 7"H x 0.1"D

Year Created: 2016

Atalaya Mountain serves as the backdrop for the view looking east in Santa Fe. This ever present mountain , part of the Sangre De Cristos, has been used for firewood and pinons for as long as the area has been occupied.

Another painting-a-day series of small watercolors using loose watercolor washes for an impressionist style. A fun way to bust loose and explore with watercolors that are different from my usual approach. 11" x 7" image size, matted and ready to frame.

The subjects I choose to paint tend to have an interesting massing, a layering of elements and a quality of light and shadow. As I travel, should I come across a striking scene I may simply take a picture for future reference, draw a quick sketch or paint on site.

Open skies, storms coming in, sweeping vistas, mountains and grasslands all call for broad strokes and bold light and shadows. I strive for an economy of color and execution that can bring a landscape to life. If I can capture the shadows, forms, space at a given moment with the flow of line and color, then I can start to feel that I have succeeded. Working in such a quick, expressive manner can be like playing a jazz riff, improvising with the moment. I start with the basic composition, placing elements as needed, some planning on where I want light and shadow. Then I throw away the sketch, the photograph, look away from the reality and let the paint, the brush and the water flow.

I love working quickly using a calligraphy brush on rough paper, going for the zen of the moment. I keep the colors pure while at the same time letting the paper do the work; looking for happy accidents that I can exploit. Many times I will take a scene and modify the composition to minimalize the basic elements to maintain a deceptively simple beauty. The subjects I choose to paint tend to have an interesting massing, a layering of elements and a quality of light and shadow. I am always looking for new views and experiences. As I travel, should I come across a striking scene I may simply take a picture for future reference, draw a quick sketch or paint on site. Many times I will remember scenes and sketch from memory while I have an idle moment. My work draws from the forms, colors and experiences of the desert Southwest; an enjoyment in the act of painting expressing a simpler, more casual approach to life.

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