Friday, February 17, 2012

Rio Grande to Sandia

This is a view of Sandia Peak that I see frequently from my neighborhood. I love seeing the glints of the Rio Grande wending its way along among the trees, and the transparent shadows turning the woods and distant city from blazing pinky-peach to cool blues and greens. You don't often have a sense of the depth of the ranges until you see the deep blue shadows delineating the hills this way.

I had a customer at an outdoor fair walk into my booth years ago and peer at one of my paintings of the mountain at sunset. She turned to her companion and in a definite New York accent said, "Mountains are never that color!" The real irony was that at that moment she could have looked over her shoulder and seen Sandia that very shade, as the sun went down. Some people have just decided what color the mountains are, and that's that. Well, if I have to choose, I'm choosing this color! ('Sandia' means watermelon in the Tewa dialect, and often our mountain resembles nothing so much as a giant slice of watermelon, rind and all.)


  1. So true. We artists see things right and the rest need educating. Ha. Thanks, I love hearing about the Sandias. Makes me homesick.

  2. LOL Jo, yep, we do. Hey, it's MY painting, thus my vision! I would miss Sandia terribly if I had to be away from it, too.

  3. It is funny that people have these preconceptions of what colour things are. I have a photo of our mountains that show them 'gold' as it was for those few moments when the sun and atmospherics struck it. A magnificent sight but not the purple that people expect of 'mountians'.

    1. True--we tend to make color choices on the preconceptions we have. More than anything, as artists we should probably pay attention to the value structure, and then paint what inspires us, gold, watermelon or 'purple mountain's majesty'!


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