Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sedona Day 5

From Jordan Trailhead
9 x 6 soft pastels on Kitty Wallis Professional White
by Miki Willa
I am a little late with this because we are on our way back north and didn't have time before this evening. This painting is very different for me. Michael threw down a challenge to use a limited palette in the field. I decided to try it. We selected a warm and a cool of six different colors - blue, green, red, orange, yellow, purple - plus black and white. Value was not really considered in color choice because we had the black and white. He used hard pastels, but I used softer ones because that is what I had. We drove to the Jordan trail parking lot, where there were several red rock formations to paint, and I set myself up near Michael. This was quite a challenge.
After several attempts to get decent colors that were near local, Michael told me that putting the white down first was a big help when trying to get a lighter value. Then, I made the mistake of putting black down first in the shadow areas. I should have thrown away the black and used the dark cool purple. Once I figured that out, I was much happier. What I ended up with is pretty abstract, but I think I like it. Go figure. If Michael posts his from this day, I will put a link in a future blog.
Today, Tom and I have been driving north from Barstow on Hwy. 395. We have seen some of the most spectacular scenes we have seen in all our driving around the country. There was high desert with Joshua Trees, mountains with heavy snow, ranch land, rivers, small towns, and the colors were incredible. A veritable feast for an artist's eye. We ended the day in Carson City, the capital of Nevada. I am so glad we decided to drive to Sedona and back. This would have been a terrible thing to miss.


Tom said...

Wow. I really enjoy the abstract quality you let your painting create. I may have to try it, too.
I see a strong combination of elements, balance wonderful range of values.

Casey Klahn said...

Bravo - that goes for the whole series!

I did notice the value range here and it is part of what makes it a compelling painting. Will you do a studio follow up?

Jo Castillo said...

Willa, it looks like you had a great time and accomplished a lot. Thanks for sharing. This value study with the limited palette is very interesting. You came through with a nice finish. It will be interesting to see what you adapt to your work from the sessions in Sedona.