"Rio Grand Gorge - NM"
30" x 24"
Oil on Canvas
copyright by Artist, Brenda Hofreiter
I photographed this scene during a vacation trip to New Mexico last summer. It was created from a photo I took of the Rio Grand Gorge on Highway 68 on the low road to Taos, NM. We were there painting for 2 weeks and I created many paintings en plein air during the trip. This one is one view that I didn't get a chance to paint on site, but I'm glad I risked being hit by a car on the side of the road to get a reference photo of it and paint it in the studio. In this viewpoint, the Rio Grand Rift reveals itself as an irregular crack in the earth. It was not caused as you might assume by the meandering Rio Grand but by a geological rift between the North American and Pacific plates moving into a jagged S curve in the distance. You can read more about it's geology and history here. From this perspective the foreground rolls down toward the Gorge and shows the yellow flowering Chamisa or Rabbitbrush, blue Sage and dotted Juniper moving back into the distance of the Taos Plateau.
That entire trip was a delight and I can't wait to go back and paint some more!!! New Mexico has some inspiring landscapes, and for a flatland Floridian, painting mountains and cliffs are a delight.