philmont panorama, v
— 10 x 20 inches — oil on canvas
— copyright Dawn Chandler 2010


End of a June day, looking west to the Philmont mountain range. That highest peak is Black Mountain.

I created this painting partly to test out the image to see if it’s one I want to do on a much larger scale. Initially, my main interest was in the foreground and trying to give a sense of the tapestry of flora there in those Colfax County grasslands. (Those whitish grasses that catch the evening light and shine like gold are especially intriguing to my painter’s eye.) I was also intrigued by the way the landscape appears to fade to the right as one’s eye moves closer to the position of the sun.

I’ve about decided that if I were to recreate this scene on a larger scale, I’d make room for much more sky, so that the sky:land ratio is at least 2:1 or even 3:1. Right now, the canvas/composition is split almost perfectly in half horizontally, with a line dividing the distance (sky + mountains) and the flatlands of the fore- and middle-ground. It’s a bit too evenly balanced for my taste. Though it’s a peaceful evening, I’m craving a little more drama to the picture, and some ‘Big Sky’ might just do the trick.