Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A New Series

I have been in the studio pretty consistently lately.  That is always a nice feeling, since it provides some continuity that may be lost when I get interrupted for days or weeks.  I have begun a series of paintings that has been on my mind since we first moved to Joshua Tree.  It was love at first sight for me and the Joshua Tree, and I decided it is about time I explored these amazing "trees" in paint.  I have always thought the Joshua Tree (yucca brevifolia) resembled a human figure.  Clearly, I am not alone, since they are named for the prophet Joshua.  Morman settlers, when first confronted by these strange cacti, gave them the name "Joshua Tree" because they resembled the prophet Joshua, raising his hands in prayer.  I am not sure where the paintings will take me, but I am anxious with excitement and curiosity. 

I have begun with photos I took our first spring here in the high desert.  It had been the right temperature and the right amount of rain had fallen that winter so that the Yucca Brevifolia bloomed.  I was so excited to see it, since they do not bloom every year.  I ran around the desert with my tiny point-and-shoot, clicking away happily at any Joshua Tree bloom I came across.  Since we have received a bunch of rain so far this year, I am wondering if the Joshua Trees will bloom again this spring.  That would be delightful!  If you read my blog a few weeks ago, I posted a photograph of the under painting for the second of these "blooming" paintings.  I think I have finished both of them, but I only have a photograph of one for today.   
This painting measures 20 x 16 inches and is oil on canvas.  It is not the best photograph, I am sorry to say, but you can at least get an idea of what I am up to.  I may go back in and work a little more on the spiky foliage.  Or not.  This one did not get an under painting, and I did struggle a bit.    

Here is the under painting for the next in the series.  I have discovered that the painting is more successful if I figure out the values and basic drawing with the under painting.  I did not do that with the first painting, and I think the difference will be obvious to you, once I show you the second painting.  I will try to post it for you soon.

I leave you with a photograph of the sky in the setting sun.   This was taken last Friday. 


Melissa and Emmitt said...

oh my gosh karine!
this series is breathtaking!
i cannot wait to see more!

Patricia said...

I'm really anxious to see where this new series takes you...so far so gorgeous!! Go Mighty Painter!!

Abby Creek Art said...

Love this new series you're working on, Karine. Looking forward to seeing what you do with the sky shots. Those are amazing!

Kisses to Pono!

High Desert Diva said...

oh yes!

lee said...

I love the new series cant wait to see the finished results.

Desert Backroad Dweller said...

Hi Karine;

I've been loving your recent bursts of creativity, from your gorgeous journals to your vivid photography and now these beautiful new paintings. Amazing work!