Big Bend National Park
I love looking across the distance of a Southwestern landscape on a summer afternoon. Often, the morning's clear sky turns into puffs of cloud that get larger as the day progresses. Although the day may be hot and brilliantly lit, the clouds will cast quickly changing, random blue shadows across the landscape. The effect is an instant transformation from warm tans, siennas, and yellows to cool blues and purples, and then back to warm colors again. It is a fascinating effect to watch. Photos I took, and vivid memories from several vantage points along the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive have been challenging me to try and paint this effect.
The volcanic formation known as "Mule Ears", is fascinating to watch as the cloud shadows dance across the desert. Although the photo reference I had shows the "ears" in the distance, I decided to move in closer for the painting. The ground near Mule Ears is very dramatic--dark colored magmatic rock contrasts sharply with areas of white volcanic ash.
Marsha Reeves is a watercolor painter living in Austin, Texas