Denver Watercolor Class Teacher Dennis Pendleton

Hopeful!


Watercolor Painting by Dennis Pendleton. Right now I would normally be planning my Spring Watercolor Workshop in Taos, New Mexico but times are too uncertain. I am still hopeful and I chose this painting because seeing it lifts my spirits and reminds me how much fun we had painting that day. The Lilac Festival in Taos is the same time as my workshop and the lilacs were in full bloom everywhere. This was painted at the E. Irving Couse House which has been totally restored along with his studio and gardens. He was one of the early Taos artists and a member of the Taos Society of Artists which were instrumental in establishing Taos as an art colony. The lilacs were so heavy that they were hanging down to the ground and their aroma was intoxicating. I loved the way they hung down all around this blue gate like a giant canopy and that is what attracted me to this subject. Finding an interesting subject is only the beginning and artistic decisions should immediately come into play. For the composition, I placed the gate on one of the points of the Golden Mean then darkened the colors behind the gate with perylene green to create a stronger contrast. Then I painted the gate with pure cerulean blue. None of the older adobe homes in Taos are exactly the same colors and, in this case, I used mixtures of yellow ochre, cobalt violet and mineral violet then stuck my fingers in the wet paint to create texture. The lilacs are a combination of cobalt violet, cerulean blue, mineral violet and olive green with an important use of hard and soft edges. This little corner of nostalgia is typical of the subject matter in Taos and I am looking forward to painting there again when the days are warm and the lilacs are in bloom. I will stay in contact with the Mabel Dodge Luhan House, where we headquarter the workshop, to see what is possible for this year. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton

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