Santa Fe Painting Workshop – Day 4

7×5 textured oil by Niki Gullley
Plein Air Painting & Photography Workshop in Santa Fe, NM
Day 4, afternoon location: Red Rocks
After painting the scenic overlook in the morning, we headed a little north of our location and focused in on this lone clump of unusual, striking rocks (scene below.) The distinct coloring and striations, made for a fun but challenging exercise in texture, light and shadow, and shape. By day 4, everybody was past their jitters from earlier in the week and thoroughly enjoying painting outdoors. With more confidence, they quickly sketched in these rock formations and complete some amazing pieces in just a couple of hours.
Some of our group painting on our day 4 of our Santa Fe Painting & Photography Workshop.

One of my students putting in the final touches of her painting.

If you’d like more information on our upcoming
Plein-Air Painting & Photography Workshops, please e-mail me at Niki Gulley,
or visit my website at nikigulley.com/?page_id=13.
To see more of my contemporary impressionistic landscape paintings, go to nikigulley.com,
or to purchase this plein air study from Santa Fe, e-mail me at Niki Gulley.

Day 4 of Plein Air Painting & Photo Workshop in Santa Fe w/ Niki Gulley & Scott Williams

9×12 textured oil by Niki Gullley
Plein Air Painting & Photography Workshop in Santa Fe, NM
Day 4, morning location: Rio Chama
On Day 4 of our Santa Fe workshop, we headed out early for our most complex location, a striking scenic overlook of the Rio Chama. Being perched along the rim of a cliff, our group was a little nervous, but once they adjusted to the height, they could really appreciate the beauty of the scene for their paintings. With so much going on below and only a half day to capture the landscape, we had to majorly simplify the canyon into basic shapes and colors. The river not only served as a perfect focal point, but also created a soft flowing line to lead the viewer’s eye through our paintings. The rocky mountains provided a contrasting craggy texture and the green foliage added some life and color to the desert landscape.
Choosing to paint with palette knife today, I had a lot of fun playing with textures and mixing colors, which ended up adding to a feeling of spontaneity in the final painting, filled with energy and movement. While outside their comfort zone, my students’ also produced some of their best paintings from the trip!
Painting along the Rio Chama.
If you’d like more information on our upcoming
Plein-Air Painting & Photography Workshops, please e-mail me at Niki Gulley,
or visit my website at nikigulley.com/?page_id=13.
To see more of my contemporary impressionistic landscape paintings, go to https://www.nikigulley.com/?page_id=33,
or to purchase this plein air study from Santa Fe, e-mail me at Niki Gulley.
6×12 acrylic demo by Niki Gullley
Plein Air Painting & Photography Workshop in Santa Fe, NM
Day 3, location: Ghost Ranch
On Day 3 of our Santa Fe workshop, we headed to Georgia O’Keefe’s home and painted at the gorgeous Ghost Ranch. Between the striking rock formations, the beauty and uniqueness of the stark desert landscape, the perfectly formed white puffy clouds, and the pure quality of the light on everything in sight, it was challenging to narrow down a subject. But, I promised my acrylic painters that I’d do an acrylic demo for them, so I quickly chose this mountainside with the morning light creating brilliant peach and adobe colored highlights, contrasted against a turquoise-blue sky. The landscape was so wide and open, a panorama format seemed to work best for this scene.
While working with the acrylics were tricky due to their quick drying time, it was also far easier to avoid colors getting muddy from overworking the paint in oils. I just had to squeeze out less paint and more often than I do with oils. Establishing the major shapes and colors, then blocking in the darks, and lastly the highlights, I quickly sketched the scene for the group. Working with my largest brushes first for speed and continuity, and then moving into smaller ones for details. The left side of the scene needed something for balance, so I demonstrated how to paint this snarly cactus. With another half hour, I could have completed the scene but I wanted to get our group started on their paintings before the soft morning light was gone.

And, look at the results! Some of our students and their wonderful paintings at Ghost Ranch.

If you’d like more information on our upcoming
Plein-Air Painting & Photography Workshops, please e-mail me at Niki Gulley,
or visit my website at nikigulley.com/?page_id=13.
To see more of my contemporary impressionistic landscape paintings, go to nikigulley.com/?page_id=33,
or to purchase this plein air study from Santa Fe, e-mail me at Niki Gulley.

Day 2, Chimayo – Painting / Photo workshop with Niki Gulley & Scott Williams

7×5 oil by Niki Gullley
Plein Air Painting & Photography Workshop in Santa Fe, NM
Day 2, afternoon location: Chimayo
After our lovely morning location in downtown Santa Fe, we headed north into the hills to photograph and paint Chimayo. While the church seemed like a simple subject for us to paint, the large number of angles and lack of straight lines on the adobe structure proved to be quite a challenge! Everyone did great, and we treated ourselves to sangria and the best meal of the trip at Rancho de Chimayo afterwards.
Part of our group, and our mascot “Shiloh,” painting and enjoying the shade at Chimayo.


Jeanette Korab adding the final touch to her beautiful painting.

If you’d like more information on our upcoming
Plein-Air Painting & Photography Workshops, please e-mail me at Niki Gulley,
or visit my website at nikigulley.com/?page_id=13.
To see more of my contemporary impressionistic landscape paintings, go to nikigulley.com/?page_id=33,
or to purchase this plein air study from Santa Fe, e-mail me at Niki Gulley.

Day 2 – Santa Fe Painting / Photo Workshop with Niki Gulley & Scott Williams

12×9 pastel by Niki Gullley
Plein Air Painting & Photography Workshop in Santa Fe, NM
Day 2, morning location: downtown Santa Fe
Day two of our Santa Fe workshop, we headed to a quiet street in downtown Santa Fe. It was a beautiful morning, with temperatures around 70 to 80 degrees and plenty of shade. We were all drawn to the unique adobe architecture typical in Santa Fe, the soft morning light, and the vibrant color accents on each home. I chose this periwinkle doorway for my quick demo in pastels, both for the striking contrast against the orange pueblo and also because the russian sage everywhere was so beautiful, and added some balance on the left hand side of the composition. We all thoroughly enjoyed the morning, even if a passing homeowner or two were disappointed that we hadn’t picked their doorways to paint!

One of my students, Barbara Moore, working in pastels on this adobe doorway.

Nancy Standlee completing her acrylic of this pueblo home. Beautiful!

 

If you’d like more information on our upcoming
Plein-Air Painting & Photography Workshops, please e-mail me at Niki Gulley,
or visit my website at nikigulley.com/?page_id=13.
To see more of my contemporary impressionistic landscape paintings, go to nikigulley.com/?page_id=33,
or to purchase this plein air study from Santa Fe, e-mail me at Niki Gulley.