Today is the first day of winter, the Winter Solstice. It will be the longest night of the year, meaning that despite the cold winter, the days get progressively longer after the Winter Solstice until the Summer Solstice in 2015.
Here in New Mexico the skies are unusually grey and it is unusually cold and dry. As in most parts of the country, most of the trees have no leaves. However, for the southwest, winter means brown grass and shrubs. There is little green to break up the endless shapes of sienna and umber.
New Mexico Late Fall #3, acrylic on paper, 12×20 inches, 2014. ©Ann Hart Marquis
For the next few months I plan to continue my New Mexico series to see the colors of the landscape as it becomes colder. I already see that the clouds are a blue-grey, without the subtle pinks and oranges of fall.
And my last fall painting:
New Mexico Late Fall #4, acrylic on canvas, 9×12 inches, 2014. ©Ann Hart Marquis
I spent the Winter Solstice dancing, my second favorite creative activity. Did you celebrate the solstice?
A generally agreed upon definition of abstract art is the use a visual language of shape, form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world.
Along those lines, I am now doing a series of paintings that are a response to New Mexico. Right now, as in many parts of the world, the landscape is brown and dark, fall is almost over, and the sky is frequently grey. I am on my second painting and my process has been to look at nature and choose paint colors based on what I see. Then in a response to my surroundings, I just start putting paint on canvas using a variety of brushes and tools. I play with paint until I think the painting is “finished.”
New Mexico, Late Fall, acrylic on canvas, 18×24-inches, 2014. ©Ann Hart Marquis
I realize that my finished product is a result on what is going on unconsciously and consciously. I guess that you could say that I am painting both the inner and outer landscape. It is rather exciting to not know what I will end up with.
In my continuing foray into the abstract world, I find that I still like to see that comforting horizon line. It is difficult to lose it and still call a painting an abstract landscape.
I would appreciate any feedback.