24" x 36" pastel landscape painting
en plein air
© Lindy Cook Severns
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custom, conservation framed under non-reflective museum glass
framed outer dimensions: 30" x 42" x 2"
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Open Range original pastel
I did this large pastel painting by returning day after day to the same spot to set up my easel on this heritage Davis Mountain ranch in Far West Texas.
This painting is, like so many of my landscapes, driven by the energy of the sky. As these clouds built into a symphony of booming thunder and brief but frightening hail, I rapidly roughed in their movement and color. That first painting session lasted only forty five minutes before the storm drove me to frantically pack up and seek the safety of my trusty truck. I returned the next morning at the same time and found the sky happily held much the same colors as before, minus the hailstones.
The Davis Mountains of Far West Texas are home to large, working ranches, many of them still operated by descendants of the first settlers in this remote corner of Texas. Open range isn't the norm anymore, but you can still drive stretches of two lane roads where cattle mosey across the road in search of greener pastures. In a wet year, wildflowers like these dot the grassland and tumble down the mountains. And always, there is the big Texas sky.
I wanted to show the vastness and ruggedness of this summer range. Blue Mountain, a Jeff Davis county landmark is in the background looking toward Ft.Davis; Bloys Campground lies behind the red rocked hill; we live behind all these mountains. Wildflowers were beginning to dot the tall grass, a medley of tender green shoots and dried growth. As I painted, I watched new flowers bloom. By the time I'd finally finished this plein air painting, the green grass had grown so tall, none of the dried brown stems were visible.
I loved painting this one. Even the hail episode.