High Desert Summer Splendor
18" x 24" pastel landscape painting
© Lindy Cook Severns
$4500 at gallery
custom, conservation framed in heavy moulding
under museum glass
framed outer dimensions: 24" x 30"
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High Desert Summer Splendor original pastel
Summer in the mountains of the high Texas desert is brief, but in a wet year, spectacular. We hike this mountain most mornings year 'round, and we watch for the first hints of green.
This is a studio painting that I did from about a dozen photo references taken one such morning, as dawn lit the volcanic rock foothills. Our rock is the color of aged adobe, pink and violet and marsala red, and when sunlight hits it, it glows from within, as if in tribute to its volcanic origins. The tall cholla cactus in the foreground blooms fuchsia, to match the soil washed from the mountains, and oaks, pine and grass frame the peaks in every shade of green. I know nature's splendid summer colors don't linger in the mountains, which makes it even more urgent to paint them.
I can't paint fast enough to capture the fleeting colors of dawn, either. Back in my studio, I used a single photo to compose this painting (my paintings are all real places, and I don't move mountains!) I studied, absorbed, relived that hike through the other photos so I could capture the essence that inspired me to paint this familiar landscape.