outback meditations

Playing. That’s how this all began

First I painted the land literally. Every day. Each painting was a pair of two pieces of paper — a diptych — each measuring 4″ x 8″ and paired to make a 4″ x 16″ image.

Why that size? 
Because that’s all I had. 
The larger “art board” I’d ordered hadn’t arrived yet, and the only other paper I had with me those first couple of days were 8″ x 8″ pieces of watercolor paper. I knew I wanted these ‘literal’ studies to be small. But 4″ x 8″ felt too limited. 
That expansive horizon line demanded a longer proportion! 
So daily 4″ x 16″ diptychs it was going to be. 




13 november 2013 ~ from outback meditations; detail ~ by dawn chandler ~ mixed media on paper ~ 4″ x 16″ ~ copyright dawn chandler 2014


And then I began to “play.”
Just let loose with paint and ink and let the landscape emerge over the printed words.
I don’t remember why I began these as squares. I think maybe I thought a horizontal rectangle would be too obviously “landscape,” and since I was already going to use landscape features in these paintings, I was reluctant to be too “obvious.”

capable of so much ~ by dawn chandler ~ mixed media ~ 8″ x 8″ ~ copyright dawn chandler 2014

the view was fleeting ~ by dawn chandler ~ mixed media ~ 8″ x 8″ ~ copyright dawn chandler 2014
quiet and vast ~ by dawn chandler ~ mixed media ~ 8″ x 8″ ~ copyright dawn chandler 2014
the limit beyond ~ by dawn chandler ~ mixed media ~ 8″ x 8″ ~ copyright dawn chandler 2014

You may begin to notice a few new symbols emerging in some of these: the black scribblings — my attempt to capture to the flocks of black birds that flew back and forth over my studio between the old orchard and the pond (and who are frequent callers on my walks in New Mexico, too); and that thin blue-grey-silver-white-lavendar-pewter horizontal line — a line that haunts me still: The distant mirror-line of Summer Lake.

willow ravens iii ~ by dawn chandler ~ mixed media ~ 8″ x 8″ ~ copyright dawn chandler 2014
when i escape ~ by dawn chandler ~ mixed media ~ 8″ x 8″ ~ copyright dawn chandler 2014
understand where we confide ~ by dawn chandler ~ mixed media ~ 8″ x 8″ ~ copyright dawn chandler 2014
wind swaying down softly ~ by dawn chandler ~ mixed media ~ 8″ x 8″ ~ copyright dawn chandler 2014
beyond myself and i~ by dawn chandler ~ mixed media ~ 8″ x 8″ ~ copyright dawn chandler 2014

and then it came~ by dawn chandler ~ mixed media ~ 8″ x 8″ ~ copyright dawn chandler 2014

a new sense of vastness ~ by dawn chandler ~ mixed media ~ 8″ x 8″ ~ copyright dawn chandler 2014
joy wonder  soul ~ by dawn chandler ~ mixed media ~ 8″ x 8″ ~ copyright dawn chandler 2014

The Outback Series: Mixed Media Paintings Inspired by the Western Landscape by Dawn Chandler is on view from August 2 – September 12, 2014 at Salon X, 226 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte, Taos, New Mexico, 87571
Opening reception Saturday, August 2, 6:00 – 8:00pm