santa fe dog days 01 — santa fe baldy
—16 x 16 inches —oil on linen
— copyright Dawn Chandler 2011 —

The finest dog in the universe, pausing for a moment to take in the view on the descent from the summit of Santa Fe Baldy.

Been wanting to paint this ever since I took the photo a couple of summers ago when we made our first (and so far only) ascent of Baldy. Finally got around to it this week!

Really, when you get right down to it, the picture isn’t all that interesting. There are few colors, and what colors there are are washed out pretty well thanks to the bright midday sky. But still, it’s a picture that conjures tremendous joy, and the spirit of adventure — let alone fine memories of a fine day. These, alone, make it a paint-worthy image in my book.

Below is a detail of my pup. Not surprisingly, she was the most difficult part of the painting. Much like the forsythia in my previous post, I carved her out of a large swatch of black paint, pulling in the sky around her.
Which direction is she looking? Out to the sky, or off toward the lower right?
It’s kind of an optical illusion… In truth, in the photo, she’s looking off to the lower-right, taking kind of a regal stance while awaiting our arrival up the trail. In the painting though, to me she looks as though she’s looking away from us, out toward the sky.

The trail we took to the top of Santa Fe Baldy was 14 miles round-trip. This dog ran the whole way, and then some. We were hiking all day, and at trail’s end, she finally stopped moving, collapsing in the car and snoozed for two hours.
That evening? While the rest of us were nearly in a coma of exhaustion, she was ready to go at it again. “Let’s PLAY! Let’s HIKE! Let’s PLAY! COME ON!!!”

Crazy, good-for-nothing dog.