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Sightseeing 2013  oil on canvas  48 x 48 inches

It’s been about a month since I got back from traveling out west to the back country of Colorado and all over Utah.  It is so amazing out there, so absolutely breathtaking. I knew somehow it would find a way into my painting.   but how, I wondered?

When I first got back, I had had quite a break from painting, which is generally a good thing.  To get back into things, I started off with a big abstract called Snorkeling in oils, utilizing similar colors to the last painting I had done before I went away (Heading West).  What really got things going for me though was the next one, an abstract landscape.  I had an image and a feeling in my mind from looking at my travel photos and I decided I was just going to paint it - rather than trying to copy a photo.  It is called Near Crested Butte.  I did two other ones, right after, Mountain Salsify and On the Back Range, a big one. They are much more abstract.

It was then I painted Sightseeing.  To me it is a big success.  It is totally and completely abstract expressionistic in technique, done totally how I try to paint.  I just built a big canvas and started painting without any preconceived idea. The funny thing is that it reminds me big time of my trip out west and I wasn’t even thinking about it!  I really believe that when you get in the zone and just paint, stuff appears!  It sounds so simple, but it is so hard to trust that. To me, I can see everything in that painting: mountains, canyons, sagebrush, cactus, wildflowers and even a guy on a Harley!  That is the amazing thing about painting this way: I can see what I want, but other people can see what they want.  Someone sees jellyfish.  Someone else sees faces and someone else sees a cancan dance!

Larry Poons came in yesterday while I was painting - and he said he liked it! “There is something exciting going on there.”  Hahaha - those words have been a long time coming and very, very much appreciated.  I do agree with him though!  He also liked my small one, “How did you do that, witchcraft?”  The surface is very soft and matte but it is hard to photograph.  It looks out of focus until you see the purplish grey and then you can see it isn’t; it’s just soft.  Larry said I should call it The Soft One, but I think I will go with Softy.

I like to see how I got from one painting to the next.


Heading West 2013 acrylic on canvas 40 x 54 inches


Snorkeling 2013 oil on canvas 48 x 48 inches

Near Crested Butte 2013 oil on canvas 36 x 36 inches

Mountain Salsify and Thistles 2013 oil on canvas 36 x 36 inches


On the Back Range 2013 oil on canvas 48 x 48 inches

Pitts_Trixie_06_Soft One  2013_24x12_Oil

Softy 2013 oil on canvas 30 x 15 inches

originally published: September 21, 2013 

© Trixie Pitts 2009