Friday, February 13, 2009

Mojave Desert

I decided to paint a desert scene since I really like the desert and don't get to see it as often as I wish. In Pasadena a drive to the Mojave desert was just an hours trip over the San Gabriel mountains on Angeles Crest Highway. Places like Palmdale, Mojave, Four Corners, Phelan, California City and Pinion Pines were fun to drive up to. The fun of exploring the high desert, which is what we called it, is almost impossible now due to the God awful housing development that has taken place since the early 80's. The ruination of the desert I call it.

Back in the early days of the desert there were a lot of guest ranches out here and at one time agriculture. My Dad rented a houseboat on the Colordo river and we had to travl across the Mojave in our blue 1963 Chevy Biscayne station wagon complete with desert water bag hung on the front of the radiator grill just in case. Crossing te high desert still could be a major deal then. Nowadays these same roads are dotted with McDonalds, In-N-Out Burger and Taco Bell...not to mention the occasional Outlet stores for that last minute super deal we are all looking for in tennis shows or jeans. If you grew up watching Death Valley Days it is really hard to appreciate driving across Pearblossom highway and seeing the trash and furniture left scattered along the roadside. Enjoy what you can of the Mojave before developers convince even more of the masses to move to affordable country desert living.

"Floor of the Mojave"

12" x 16" Oil on Canvas covered Panel


Teresa said...

I love the control you have over your color, this is exactly what the desert looks like! These rocks are wonderfully painted Ron. I feel as if I have been here before. Magnificent Work!!!

Ron Guthrie said...

Hi Teresa,
I'm still finding my way with rocks. I'm glad these small ones came out as they did. I'd like to go back out to Mojave and get more reference photos and maybe do a Plein Air painting or two out there. Sure is enough room to not be bothered painting out there huh?!

Helen Read said...

beautiful! You can feel the dry dusty ground and atmosphere...

Ron Guthrie said...

Hi Helen,
Thanks for the nice comments. Glad some of that desert environment comes through on this one. The desert is always fun to paint and such a beautiful place to begin with. Thanks again.