The square proved limiting. 

Compositionally the square is hard to work with. I knew that. Which is partly why I was thinking I’d work with it — I’m kind of drawn to those kinds of challenges. But the truth is — though I made some neat images — the square wasn’t really working with my vision for what I wanted these paintings to be.  

I realized that after a couple of great studio conversations with some of my fellow artists at Playa.

So.
I gathered up the less successful squares, glued them in pairs onto rectangular panels, and with paint started merging two squares into one horizontal painting.

it’s learning what is real ~ by dawn chandler ~ mixed media ~ 8″ x 16″ ~ copyright dawn chandler 2014
just to stay ~ by dawn chandler ~ mixed media ~ 8″ x 16″ ~ copyright dawn chandler 2014

 

edging on knowing ~ by dawn chandler ~ mixed media ~ 8″ x 16″ ~ copyright dawn chandler 2014




And in some, I began to push the abstraction more.

the coming of winter ~ by dawn chandler ~ mixed media ~ 8″ x 16″ ~ copyright dawn chandler 2014
of sunrises and alkali lakes ~ by dawn chandler ~ mixed media ~ 8″ x 16″ ~ copyright dawn chandler 2014
No. 61 ~ oil on linen ~ by Mark Rothko

Here’s the thing: for me — to my eye — just about any time you have a horizontal line, I see a horizon. I don’t care what anyone else says or sees — you are always invited to see what you see — but for me, a horizontal line is Earth. Call me an incurable land-romantic; a dyed-in-the-wool landscape painter no matter what form or expression my art takes. He’s surely rolling in his grave with this statement, but Mark Rothko’s paintings to me have always been about landscape.

So all those horizontal lines here and there in my paintings? Horizons. Shifting horizons. 
Memories of horizons. The sweep of land, of distant water, of far off vistas. Of land and sky. 
Of breaking day and fading light.


water’s edge, i ~ by dawn chandler ~ mixed media ~ 8″ x 16″ ~ copyright dawn chandler 2014
water’s edge, ii ~ by dawn chandler ~ mixed media ~ 8″ x 16″ ~ copyright dawn chandler 2014
of land and sky and water ~ by dawn chandler ~ mixed media ~ 8″ x 16″ ~ 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