Ghost Ranch Palette Knife Painting by Contemporary Impressionist Niki Gulley

“Desert Oasis” ©2019 Niki Gulley
18″ x 24″ textured oil painting
This summer my husband and I were asked to lecture for Southern Methodist University at the campus in Taos. We love the scenery in New Mexico so much that we decided to stay an extra week to paint and photograph. One day we drove towards Ghost Ranch where Georgia O’Keefe lived, stopping at this scenic overlook of the Rio Chama on the way. Loving the setting and the drama the light was creating on the distant rock formations, we decided to stay right there and capture its beauty.  Gentle S curves lead you down the river while shrubbery and mountain peaks create rhythmic patterns adding to the flow of the scene. I hope you, too, feel rejuvenated gazing into this desert oasis.

For more details on Desert Oasis, please contact my gallery, the Good Art Company, in Fredericksburg, TX at

E-mail Niki Gulley for more information on her palette knife paintings.
See to see more of her contemporary landscape paintings.

Just sold – “Stop!” palette knife oil painting by Niki Gulley

“Stop!” ©2013 Niki Gulley
Just SOLD • 16″ x 20” textured oil painting on wrap around canvas

While driving from Santa Fe to Taos, this scene literally stopped me in my tracks. Something about that giant rocky mound rising up from the surrounding flat expanse contrasted against the complimentary colored sky was so graphic and surreal. Add to that the bizarre juxtaposition of the stop sign encroaching on what once was uninhabited desert landscape, and I felt like this painting had something to say.

For more information on my textured palette knife oil paintings, please e-mail me at Niki Gulley.

Or, please visit my website at to see more of my contemporary landscape paintings.

Santa Fe Art Trek w/ Niki Gulley and Scott Williams – Ghost Ranch

Day 1, morning location – Ghost Ranch, New Mexico
12″ x 9″ pastel by Niki Gulley

On the first day of our Santa Fe Plein-Air Painting and Photography Workshop, we headed to the gorgeous hills where Georgia O’Keefe resided, now understanding fully why she chose to live there. The rock formations were beautiful, the desert scenery had a rugged, uninhabited wild west feel, and the clouds were spectacular. I chose this location for my pastel demo, being attracted to the light on the distant mountain peaks, and the bushy sagebrush in the foreground.
I quickly drew my major shapes, then working with the sides of my pastels, blocked in my darks and simplified the scene into larger color passages. Tweaking the composition as I went so everything flowed together and kept your eye moving around the painting, I started developing my focal area in the distance, establishing more details in the cracks and crevices and accentuating the dramatic lights and darks with complimentary colors. Then, I moved into details on the sagebrush and suggested the deep shadow underneath. Last, I filled in the middle ground in between, making sure to keep soft edges and a closer color and value range there, so as not to take away from the other areas. A perfect morning in an amazing location!
Above: Some of our painters at Ghost Ranch.
Visit for upcoming Art Treks and Workshops or
E-mail Niki Gulley for more information.