|cimarron morning ~ back of tooth ridge (philmont) ~ by dawn chandler ~ oil and mixed media on panel ~ copyright dawn chandler 2012|
The view from my friend Ed’s place in the northwest outskirts of Cimarron, New Mexico….One of those post-deluge kinds of mornings, when the warming of rain-soaked earth rises in a haze across the mountains. [To get a sense of the menace that battered these mountains the night before, scroll down or click here to see my previous painting.]
That main ridge line is Tooth Ridge with the Tooth of Time itself hunkered down in the upper right. We’re seeing just the tip of the ‘tooth, so to speak — the back side; the south side of it is a massive sheer face of rock.
I finished this painting….and then decided that Tooth Ridge was too dark. It looked okay, but didn’t capture the hazy atmosphere of that warm, evaporating morning. So to fade the mountains and push them and the distant horizon back a bit more, I skimmed that area of the painting with a translucent creamy white glaze. It worked.
Whether consciously or not, when seeking landscapes to paint, I usually crop out the presence of “civilization.” Call me a Romantic, but I like to image the land and Nature uncluttered by us reckless humans.
Here though I made an exception and left in the Cimarron water towers. I rather like the splash of blue they add. Their presence provides not only further specificity to this view, but also “ground” the foreground with more visual interest; a place to settle the eye for a moment after traveling the long lines of mountain and mesa ridges.