Monday, October 16, 2017

Secret Cliffs - and a New Plein Air Painting Program

"Secret Cliffs"
6x8 Oil by Michael Chesley Johnson
Available

As many of you know, Trina and I have been driving cross-country to the Southwest, as we do every fall.  We are now home, but it's a new home.

We've returned to a part of the world where we feel a deep spiritual kinship with the land–New Mexico.  Back in 1999, we quit our jobs in Vermont to follow our dreams, and our dreams led us here.  I wasn't a full-time painter then, but I became one soon after.  Now that I’m back, I'm eager to explore this landscape with a paintbrush that has matured.  Near the Zuni Pueblo and El Morro National Monument, and on the shoulders of the Zuni Mountains at 7000 feet, our home and studios occupy a point in the universe where the air is clear; the sky, blue; and the sun, intense unlike anywhere else.  There's lots to explore, from lava fields to sandstone bluffs, from ponderosa-clad hills to blue lakes.

The location of “Secret Cliffs” (above) is a short, perhaps 15-minute, walk from my home, if I scramble down a cliff and through scrub oak.  It’s better to drive there, and then it’s only 5 minutes.  The lake depicted had been dry for awhile but filled up over the last two winters from snowmelt.  When I went out to paint this yesterday, the sun was going down and the waterfowl were tuning up for an evening of birdsong.  The place is gorgeous in autumn, and there’s a peace that fills the land.



I'm eager to share this new space with students who are experienced painters, as there is so much to paint here.  Starting in February of next year (2018), I will open up my home and studio to one person at a time who would like to study with me privately.  You'll get food and lodging (a tuition-only version will also be available, in case you want to lodge elsewhere) plus five days of intensive painting which I will fully customize after a consultation.  I'll write more about this new Private Painting Intensive Study program in a future blog post, but for now, you can find more information at www.PaintTheSouthwest.com.  And you are more than welcome to sign up now!

Here's a short video of this painting location.  We'll be painting here as part of my new program.  (Link:  https://youtu.be/voAcxr8F2lY)



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