fig. 17: Apple Orchard at Embudo
© Alyce Frank, 36x40", oil, 1995
fig. 18: Above Sopyn's Orchard
© Alyce Frank, 30x40", oil, 1994
My interest is not in the changing light, but in the power of the scene. Each painting must be about something special. My selecting and rearranging the subject is what produces a painting which is distinctly mine. I start almost all of my paintings out on the site. The natural forms, so abundant in New Mexico, provide a strong framework for my creative process.
I use a red ground on the canvas which is a powerful, non realistic statement which says "I will not paint what I see." I am free from the restraints of the actual colors of the landscape. The scene gives me the idea of form and value, but the red ground appearing in the sky, mountains, valleys and fields acts to flatten the surface, again a contradiction of reality. I have used other colors for ground instead of red - viridian, raw sienna and prussian blue - but the initial elements of my style have remained. Then I use a red outline for the drawing, which I leave partly exposed. On this I build a whole array of colors, all with chromatic integrity.
What I hope to convey to those who see my work, is the drama of the landscape and the pleasure I find over and over, as I go looking for a perfect painting spot - and also a sense of creative harmony in the finished picture.
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All text and images © Alyce Frank.