Red Earth

I was in Santa Fe, New Mexico on a trip purely for pleasure and when I got off the plane in Albuquerque, I immediately felt “at home” . As the trip proceeded that degree of comfort continued. The air, the sky, everything about the area was so enjoyable. At the time I had read every book I could find about Georgia O’keeffe and this was the place to see and understand her paintings.

It was a trip down Canyon Road and the purchase of a large handmade pastel that has stayed in my memory. The pastel was a red earth hue, a blue red so potent it stained anything and everything. I no longer have that beautiful tool for making art but I have tried innumerable times tried to create a painting that expresses the authenticity of that hue. Last week it happened but with encaustic paint. The red earth of the Southern USA is different from it’s Western cousin but just as dear to my heart. The playground of the elementary school where I played for hours when I was very young had a hill of red that is deeply locked in my memory. Perhaps that first memory of color has stayed with me and only now have I had access to just the right way of expressing it’s beauty.

Encaustic on cradled panel 36 x 36 inches ©2013 Helen DeRamus

Encaustic on cradled panel
36 x 36 inches
©2013 Helen DeRamus