hiking wheeler peack iii ~ morning at williams lake, taos ski valley ~ by dawn chandler ~ oil on panel ~ 12 x 24 inches ~ copyright by dawn chandler 2012

  
No matter how many times I hike up the densely wooded trail of the Taos Ski Valley to Williams Lake, I am awestruck — In awe, not only by the sheer density and moisture of the soggy forest, but in awe of the view upon emerging from those woods out into that alpine basin. Repetition doesn’t diminish my sense of wonder every time I lay eyes on that mountain lake. Just a few miles and a few thousand feet below is a plain of dusty, wind-whipped sagebrush and here is whole ‘n’other world, more out of the Alps than the Sangre de Cristos.  

Early morning in particular seems to be my Hour of Awe at William’s Lake.

As with all of my paintings in  this series, I started this one by first staining the panel, and then scribing my thoughts — dreams, hopes, wishes — across it. Once the ink dries, I begin to paint



My scribing mostly becomes hidden once I start painting, but sometimes words appear through the paint. Usually I work to conceal my words. But sometimes words just seem to want to appear, as if to make a statement about the scene. Here, I was pleasantly surprised to find ghosts of the words “pausing” and “stay” emerging from the background. How appropriate.


This painting is based on a photo taken by my friend Fred Cribbett. Thanks, Fred!