CLOUD STUDY / Daily Painting #1020

Oil on Paper Mounted on Panel / 6 x 6 Inches

We're having some beautiful clouds this time of year. Lots of drama in the skies. The promise of rain and, occasionally, a very nice downpour.

If you would like to own today's painting, just send your bid in an email to: farnsworthgallery@newmex.com, or call Thea at 505 982-4561

Click Here to see my Daily Photographs

NOTE! I have a special new WORKSHOP coming up in July. Click HERE for details. I hope you can join us. Materials included.

Please remember that if you would like to commission a larger version of your favorite subject, if you would like to check on the availability of a given image, or if you would like to schedule a workshop, we are just a phone call away, at 505 982-4561, or you can email us at: john@johnfarnsworth.com.

SONRISA / Daily Painting #974

Oil on Paper Mounted on Panel / 6 x 6 Inches

It's been quite a while since I painted a Mexican mask representing a human as opposed to an animal mask. In the process of sorting, filing, renaming and as much as possible, organizing my research images, I came across this smiling fellow from Morelia in the State of Michoacan, with a curly moustache, and realized it was time to revisit the subject. So I did.

Sonrisa, by the way, means smile in the Spanish language, in case you didn't already know.

Click Here to see my Daily Photographs.

NOTE! I have a special new WORKSHOP coming up in July. Click HERE for details. I hope you can join us. Materials included.

Please remember that if you would like to commission a larger version of your favorite subject, if you would like to check on the availability of a given image, or if you would like to schedule a workshop, we are just a phone call away, at 505 982-4561, or you can email us at: john@johnfarnsworth.com.

 

BUFFALO KACHINA / Daily Painting #957

Oil on Paper Mounted on Panel / 6 x 6 Inches

This very old baby Buffalo Kachina is from the collection at the Museum of Man in Balboa Park, San Diego, California. This is the third time I've painted him, from different angles. He's always a challenge, and always a pleasure to paint. While old Buffalo Kachinas are quite rare, there a lot of modern versions, but none of them have the presence or personality these older ones have.

NOTE! I have a special new WORKSHOP coming up in July. Click HERE for details. I hope you can join us.

Click Here to see my Daily Photographs.

Please remember that if you would like to commission a larger version of your favorite subject, if you would like to check on the availability of a given image, or if you would like to schedule a workshop, we are just a phone call away, at 505 982-4561, or you can email us at: john@johnfarnsworth.com

 

THE LISTENER Daily Painting #667

The Listener

THE LISTENER

Oil on Panel / 6 x 6 inches / ©John Farnsworth

If you would like to own this painting, just email your bid to: bid@johnfarnsworth.com

MINI ADVENTURE

Tonight’s post will be another short one. I have to get up at seven, and I’m used to going to bed at three and four in the morning. The reason I have to get up so early is that I’ve been invited to accompany a friend on a mini adventure. I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow, or the next day if it goes that long. Stay tuned. In the meantime, if you haven’t already, be sure to scroll all the way down to read about your chance to participate in the creation of a documentary Be Home Soon.

NAVAJO PONIES, CANYON DE CHELLY Daily Photograph #1,638

Navajo Ponies, Canyon de Chelly

NAVAJO PONIES, CANYON DE CHELLY

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

How would you like to be Associate Producer on an important film while sharing in the realization of a dream? You can, and at the same time give a leg up to a good and deserving woman, our special friend, Melissa Howden. To find out how, just click on this link:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/489495655/be-home-soon-letters-from-my-grandfather?ref=live

Congratulations Melissa! She’s passed the half way mark, both in time and in the amount already pledged.  Check it out.

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TAOS CLOUD Daily Painting #651

Taos Cloud

TAOS CLOUD

Oil on Panel / 6 x 6 inches / ©John Farnsworth

If you would like to own this painting, please visit the Terms and Conditions.

INDEPENDENCE DAY AND THE MONSOONS

The monsoons are here, right on schedule. With all the fireworks sales, we need all the rain we can get. Of course, we always do, even without the fireworks. With the change in weather come the towering cumulus clouds, lightning and thunder; and the rain. The blessed rain. With any luck at all, we should soon be able to change our collective mood from hopeful to thankful.

We had a great Independence Day with family and friends in Santa Fe, and got home late, so this post will be a little shorter than some. I hope your 4th of July was equally as rewarding.

LEAVING TAOS Daily Photograph #1622

Leaving Taos

LEAVING TAOS

No, don’t get excited. I’m not Leaving Taos. Not yet, anyway. Although I do need to make a trip out to California to pick up Betsy and bring her home. It”s the view at the top of  the Horseshoe with that lone sentinel of a tree that is always there to bid us adieu, and to welcome us on our return.

THE CHURCH AT SAN JOSÉ DEL VADO Daily Painting #643

ADOBE CHURCH AT SAN JOSE DEL VADO

THE CHURCH AT SAN JOSÉ DEL VADO

Oil on Panel / 6 x 6 inches / ©John Farnsworth

If you would like to own this painting, please visit the Terms and Conditions.

I chanced across this little village on my back to Taos following the branding on Rowe Mesa, at the beginning of my travels in Betsy. It was for a while an important Pecos River Crossing on the Santa Fe Trail. Today it small, quiet town; the home, I believe, of Russel Means, aleader in the American Indian Movement of the 1960s.

Several days ago, Thea noticed sounds coming from the attic. Soon the sounds grew to the point of sounding like a bowling alley upstairs. Except that there are no stairs. Then we began to hear Meowing coming from the attic. We heard that some cats had died of Plague on the other side of Taos, so we decided it was time to get them out of there. Thea called animal control, and a deputy sheriff came out, climbed up on the roof, and braved the 120 degree or worse heat to go in and get the cats out. There were none. They must have left for the day. He sealed off the door that had apparently been left open by the satellite dish installer. All done. We thought. That evening, the sounds resumed. We called him back, and he discovered the problem. Our house was originally a flat roofed adobe. The roof consisted of a foot or two of earth on top of pine planks, lain across vigas, or log beams. Then, sometime in the fifties, a rather primitive pitched tin roof was built above the flat roof, creating a small attic space, running the length of the long, narrow house.

About that time, a false ceiling was added in the bedroom, by attaching compressed fiber tiles to cross pieces nailed to the bottoms of the vigas That created a shallow, second attic beneath the first.  A kitten had somehow become trapped in this space, and abandoned by its mother and siblings. The deputy left food and a trap in the attic, but apparently the kitten couldn’t get to it. The noise continued through the night. We weren’t sure how much longer the kitten could survive in the heat and the dark, and with no food or water.

This morning, when I got out of bed, in the other end of the house, where our bedroom now is, I heard the sounds of an electric reciprocating saw coming from the former bedroom, now guest room where the mewing had been coming from. Thea was up on a step stool with saw, chisel and hammer, determined to create an opening into the false attic. She got it open and we made a makeshift ramp for the cat to come down, but it required a jump of six or eight inches. I could coax him to the edge of the hole, and see him looking down, measuring, then backing off, repeatedly. Thea put out a dish of tuna to tempt him. The meows turned to howling and louder meowing.

I put a piece of the tuna at the edge of the opening, and spaced a few more pieces down the ramp. Nothing. Just loud, continuous crying.

I went outside and got some branches to make a “tree” for him to climb down. Then I took a slender branch, rubbed some tuna on the tip, and began wiggling it around in the opening. Pretty soon, I saw a tiny paw reach out for it. Then another, and then the kitten slipped and came sliding down the ramp. Thea picked him up and I knew it was over. Our family had just grown by a tiny, furry bit. We named him Atticus for obvious reasons.

I read somewhere the other day that all blogs turn into either politics or cat pictures. Well, here goes…

ATTICUS

ATTICUS

THEA WITH ATTICUS

THEA WITH ATTICUS

ATTICUS THE SNUGGLER

ATTICUS LOVES TO SNUGGLE

And so, life goes on. And it is grand!

HORSE KATSINA II Daily Painting #642

HORSE KATSINA II

HORSE KATSINA II
Oil on Panel / 6 x 6 inches / ©John Farnsworth

If you would like to own this painting, please visit the Terms and Conditions.

I felt like painting a Kachina today, and had horses on my mind because of the last two days at the Taos Rodeo. Just couldn’t resist taking another shot at this delightful little guy. I almost got him in a trade, but somehow lost contact with the owner/dealer. He traveled, I traveled, we just couldn’t quite get together. Maybe I’ll give him a call and see if he’s back in Santa Fe, and still has it. That’s if I can find his card. Moving has sure made a mess of things. The next time I paint this Kachina, I think I’ll do a profile version.

True Stories

TRUE STORIES

Here’s a shot from yesterday at the rodeo. I played around a while in ACDSee Pro, trying to give it the look of a black and white photograph that’s been hand painted with Marshall’s Oil Paints. My Aunt Inez, whose work inspired me to become an artist, besides being a fine painter in oils and watercolors, also did colored photos by hand. You might want to click on it for a better look.

It’s funny. You go to some insignificant museum with little to offer, and photography is strictly forbidden! Meanwhile, at, say the Louvre, or the Musée de Orsay in Paris, the Prado in Madrid, or the Metropolitan in New York,  you can photograph to your heart’s content. Just don’t use flash.

Rodeos are different. the bigger ones, even Santa Fe don’t allow photography. At least not behind the scenes. Maybe, if you’re properly credentialed. I don’t know about the bleachers or the grandstand. In the smaller rodeos, though, you can do just about anything as long as you don’t get in the way. In Mexico, I’ve been given free rein (pun not intended, but gleefully accepted) everywhere from the Lienzo Charro in Mexico City to the National Championships of Charreada in Zacatecas and Juarez as well as in Puebla, San Miguel de Allende, and the smaller towns. There, I’ve even had wranglers ask how they could be of assistance!

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BOXES Daily Painting #638

BOXES

BOXES

The end of an era. The sunlight striking these boxes as I was moving out of my Santa Fe studio, in order to travel more, caught my eye. This little painting feels like it could be the start of something. I’m not sure just what. But there are several elements in it that suggest the need for further exploration. Some new series has been planted in my brain. We’ll see what comes of it over the coming months. Whatever it turns out to be, you were here for the beginning. Fun, huh?

PASSING

PASSING

Did you know Betsy has a sister? Yep, a younger sister. She’s a 1996 GMC Safari. A white mini-van. When Thea first saw her she said Humph! Looks like a refrigerator. Hence her name, Kelvinator. No, that’s not a reference to cannibalism for you younger viewers. Kelvinator, like Frigidaire, was the name of a brand of refrigerators back when we were still having a hard time not referring to them as ice-boxes. She’s a pretty nice rig. I like her. Like to drive her, but she’s pretty useless as a camper. Oh, I could sleep in her, but not stand, or even stand bent over, like in Betsy with the top down. I seriously considered getting a hitop installed, and building my own camping arrangement. She has power windows and seats, runs great, is an all wheel drive wonder in snow, has air conditioning, etc. But a top would have cost at least a thousand bucks, and Betsy, dear old Betsy was crying to go bye-bye.  You know how that went. I spent even more on Betsy, and there she sits in Victorville. She can’t be trusted to cross the desert, and she won’t cooperate, yet, anyway, with the mechanic, by showing him what’s ailing her.

So anyway, this morning I called AAA because Kelvinator’s battery was dead. I think the dome light somehow got turned on or left on. By the way, I love AAA. Couldn’t have made it through the past month or so without them.  K started right up, and seems to be doing just fine. I got her going because I had to make a quick run down to Santa Fe today, and Thea needed her Isuzu.

I didn’t get away until around 2:30, got to Santa Fe at about 4:00. Stopped at the bank, moved some funds to my other bank, grabbed a few groceries, including half a duck to put on some penne pasta, one of my favorite dishes, picked up my order of six x six panels and some M. Graham oils at Artisans, then to Lowe’s for some shade cloth for the ramada, here at the house. By the time I got out of Lowe’s, the sun had dipped behind the store, leaving K in the shade. It was getting late, so I decided to just get to work. I set up a makeshift easel using some foamcore, a couple of push pins and a strip of balsa wood. Darned if I wasn’t more comfortable than when painting in Betsy! Less setup involved, too. With both windows open, I had a nice cool breeze, and if anyone noticed the goofy artist painting in the parking lot, no one said anything.

Maybe I should just find a place to leave Betsy in Southern California where she could be my winter headquarters. It’s a thought. One among many.

I finished today’s painting in time to run over to Best Buy to research solutions relative to my upcoming switch from AT&T to Verizon (more about that later) stop by Olive Gardern for a Vodka Martini and a bowl of Tuscan Soup, my kinda fast food, and back to Taos by 10:30, in time to get started on this post. Oh, and I got a lot of good cloud research while I was at it. All in all a pretty good day! I caught, or rather my iPhone caught the above image as we flew past the scene at Johnnie Meier’s Classical Gas Museum in Embudo. Check it out on Youtube, or, better yet, stop by when you’re in the area. I never seem to have time to stop there. But tomorrow, since I have to go back to Santa Fe to finish up, I hope, with the phone transfer, I just might stop and spend a while there. If I do, you can bet you’ll be seeing more of what’s there on here.

PINK LADY II (THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY) Daily Painting #634

Pink Lady II (the Other Side of the Story)

PINK LADY II (THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY)
Oil on Panel / 6 x 6 inches / ©John Farnsworth

Here’s the opposing view I promised you yesterday. This time the backlight is from the kitchen window, and the lesser reflection on the near side of the apple is from the kitchen door, probably divided in two by my standing between the door and the apple. Well, that was fun. And they make a nice pear, er pair hanging  together. Or maybe they should be hung facing each other on opposite sides of a room.

If you would like to own this painting, please visit the Terms and Conditions.

El Prado Evening

EL PRADO EVENING

Now here’s an image that should never have been. According to most experts, anyway. But I like taking photographs when I should know better. Fact is, I do know better. But I shoot anyway. And usually I get nothing. Sometimes, though, I get something I really like. Something I wish I could have done deliberately. Who knows? Maybe it was more deliberate than my conscious self knows. At any rate, I like this image. I know. It’s not “tack sharp”, it’s extremely grainy, a bit motion blurred, especially in the upper left. It’s not even exactly as shot, though it isn’t heavily Photoshopped, either. Just a tiny trim off the right side to eliminate a jarring bit of neon, and some of the roadway to keep the proportions the way I wanted.

Remember dodging and burning from the time of film? I did a slight burn of a couple of  “eye traps” caused by bright cloud surrounded by dark, dark foliage. Actually, I didn’t use Photoshop at all. Only ACDSee Pro 5, which is often all I use. That’s not a plug, just a fact.

The cross did happen to fall right about in line with the rule of thirds; that should keep the experts happy, for a while, at least. But what is that annoying little orange light to the right of the church? I prefer to think of it as that intriguing little orange light. Is it a reflection? Firelight? A light in a window? What do you think it is? Is it a distraction? Or is it something that gets the eye moving; off the cross, across the road, up into the trees, the clouds, into the dark and along the faint line of the top of the fence that takes us back to the church?

I know. I shouldn’t have taken this shot. I was using an iPhone, it was too dark, I had no manual control of shutter or aperture, no DSLR, no changeable lens. It was too dark. I was driving. It was too dark. What on earth was I doing with my camera out after the “golden hour”? It was too dark. But I did have it out, and I saw something coming up and I responded by holding my breath for an instant, then clicking the shutter at what I hoped was just the right moment. And it was. I got lucky. I didn’t get a great, or even a good photograph. But I got a picture, an image, that I can look at and enjoy for a long, long time. An instant captured.  I can accept that.

Oh, by the way, if you click on it you’ll see a larger version, complete with all that no-no grain.

A couple more thoughts…

One other reason I shoot when I shouldn’t. I get images that are like sketches. They give me just enough information to suggest a painting. A hint. A starting point. Too good, too much information, and, like this image, they don’t need to be painted. They’re good just the way they are.

And a word about composition. I don’t believe in it. Not the way it’s usually taught. Rules are good. Especially when you know them well enough to break them to good effect. But rules in composition I think are deadening. A crutch. They lead to monotonous repetition. Rule of thirds. Bah, humbug. Where’s the emotion, the thrill, the excitement in placing the subject on a grid? Shoot the damn thing. Then make a composition that works, that serves the subject, not the other way around, by trimming, adjusting. Making a photograph, not just taking a photograph. Making art, not mere “tack sharp” replication.

Or let me put it this way. Make an image that looks, that feels right. That is right. Then, if you need to, I promise, you can find a rule that will fit. That’s much better than trying to force the image that’s in your mind, your heart, to fit some arbitrary rule.

OK, that’s what I think. What do you think?

MULE WRANGLER, GRAND CANYON Daily Painting #632

Mule Wrangler, Grand Canyon

MULE WRANGLER, GRAND CANYON

Oil on Panel / 6 x 6 inches / ©John Farnswort

He’s the hand that’ll see to it you, and your mule, get down to Phantom Ranch and back again. Safely.

If you would like to own this painting, please visit the Terms and Conditions.

Still no word on Betsy, waiting with bated breath.

Fritz's LibertyLADY LIBERTY

Our bronze by Fritz Scholder

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