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 goodartcompany.com/gacart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=25&sort=20a&page=1&z.

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

“Road to Abiquiu” New Palette Knife Painting

“Road to Abiquiu” ©2013 Niki Gulley
12″ x 24” textured oil painting on wrap around canvas

The first time we went to Santa Fe and headed north to Ghost Ranch, I was awestruck by the incredible scenery. The terrain starts to change as you near Abiquiu with the rock formations becoming more colorful, jagged and varied, and the light seemed to become purer, too. In order to capture the sense of the vast open landscape and magnificent skies found here, I chose a panorama format for this painting. I not only wanted to capture the rugged beauty of New Mexico, but also the excitement of discovery and the anticipation of what’s to come.
For more information on my textured palette knife oil paintings, please e-mail Niki Gulley.
Or, visit NikiGulley.com to see more of my contemporary landscape paintings.

Curves Ahead

“Curves Ahead” ©2013 Niki Gulley
30″ x 40” textured oil painting on wrap around canvas

On this trip, it felt like we were flying up and down these curvy mountain roads almost like we were on an adult roller coaster. So I wanted to have a little fun in my painting and capture that sense of movement and playful excitement. Choosing bright vivid colors an curving my strokes almost in a fish-eye composition, add to the youthful energy and thrill of adventure that I wanted to communicate.

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

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

“Stop!” New Palette Knife Landscape Painting

“Stop!” ©2013 Niki Gulley
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 NikiGulley.com to see more of my contemporary landscape paintings.

One Week Left to Register for our Santa Fe Art Trek

“The Blue Door,” Santa Fe ©2012 Niki Gulley

12″ x 9″ pastel

Plein Air Painting and Photography Workshop in Santa Fe, NM – Aug. 12-18

Last year on our Santa Fe workshop, one morning we headed to a quiet street in downtown Santa Fe. It was a beautiful day, and we were all drawn to the unique adobe architecture typical in Santa Fe, the soft morning light, and the vibrant color accents on each home. I chose this periwinkle doorway for my quick demo in pastels, both for the striking contrast against the orange pueblo and also because the russian sage everywhere was so beautiful, and added some balance on the left hand side of the composition. We all thoroughly enjoyed the morning, even if a passing homeowner or two were disappointed that we hadn’t picked their doorways to paint!
Santa Fe is the muse of many famous artists and photographers, and that could be you, too. Join us for our Plein-Air Painting and Photography Workshop Aug. 12-18 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.We will transport you to different picturesque locations, where you will be painting and (or) photographing scenes that inspired Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams. Santa Fe offers breathtaking vistas; sunny, dry weather, world class restaurants, galleries and shopping ensconced in a charming, 400 year old Spanish Colonial city that welcomes the new and exciting and never grows old. This is a not to be missed workshop in “The Land of Enchantment.”

Santa Fe Art Trek
Plein Air Painting / photography workshop taught by Scott Williams and Niki Gulley
Santa Fe, New Mexico
August 12 -18, 2012
See nikigulley.com/art-classes for more details

or e-mail Niki Gulley with any questions and to register.

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Final Critique & Dinner – Santa Fe Painting & Photo Workshop

Some of our painters and their wonderful paintings from our Santa Fe Workshop.

Plein Air Painting & Photography Workshop in Santa Fe, NM
with Niki Gulley & Scott Williams
Day 5, afternoon Show & Tell
After some free-time sightseeing, gallery hopping and shopping in downtown Santa Fe, we gathered later that afternoon for a final critique and to show off our work. Students get so nervous about the word critique, that I really prefer Show and Tell. Everyone gets so into their work on location that they don’t always get an opportunity to see what others are doing, so this is a great way to share what we did, offer pointers and praise! For the painters, we chose our best 3 or 4 paintings from the week, and for the photographers, Scott put together slide shows of their strongest shots. And, for a perfect ending to the week, we celebrated with a delicious New Mexican dinner at La Choza.
Some of our group celebrating a successful workshop over an authentic New Mexican dinner.

If you’d like more information on our upcoming
Plein-Air Painting & Photography Workshops, please e-mail me at Niki Gulley,
or visit my website at nikigulley.com/?page_id=13.
To see more of my contemporary impressionistic landscape paintings, go to nikigulley.com/?page_id=33,
or to purchase this plein air study from Santa Fe, e-mail me at Niki Gulley.

Day 5 – Plein Air Painting Workshop in Santa Fe

9×12 pastel by Niki Gullley
Plein Air Painting & Photography Workshop in Santa Fe, NM
Day 5, location: downtown Santa Fe
On our last morning of our Santa Fe workshop, we headed back to downtown Santa Fe and settled in a quiet shady spot to paint the geometric adobe architecture of the Loretto Inn. After a week of painting everyday, everyone was loosened up and jumped right into their paintings, creating some of their best work and in a matter of a few short hours!
Some of our group enjoying the shade on the last day of our Santa Fe workshop.

Nancy Standlee, thinking outside the box, painted the Loretto with this eye-catching yellow umbrella at the café next door. Beautiful!

If you’d like more information on our upcoming
Plein-Air Painting & Photography Workshops, please e-mail me at Niki Gulley,
or visit my website at nikigulley.com/?page_id=13.
To see more of my contemporary impressionistic landscape paintings, go to nikigulley.com/?page_id=33,
or to purchase this plein air study from Santa Fe, e-mail me at Niki Gulley.

Santa Fe Painting Workshop – Day 4

7×5 textured oil by Niki Gullley
Plein Air Painting & Photography Workshop in Santa Fe, NM
Day 4, afternoon location: Red Rocks
After painting the scenic overlook in the morning, we headed a little north of our location and focused in on this lone clump of unusual, striking rocks (scene below.) The distinct coloring and striations, made for a fun but challenging exercise in texture, light and shadow, and shape. By day 4, everybody was past their jitters from earlier in the week and thoroughly enjoying painting outdoors. With more confidence, they quickly sketched in these rock formations and complete some amazing pieces in just a couple of hours.
Some of our group painting on our day 4 of our Santa Fe Painting & Photography Workshop.

One of my students putting in the final touches of her painting.

If you’d like more information on our upcoming
Plein-Air Painting & Photography Workshops, please e-mail me at Niki Gulley,
or visit my website at nikigulley.com/?page_id=13.
To see more of my contemporary impressionistic landscape paintings, go to nikigulley.com,
or to purchase this plein air study from Santa Fe, e-mail me at Niki Gulley.

Day 4 of Plein Air Painting & Photo Workshop in Santa Fe w/ Niki Gulley & Scott Williams

9×12 textured oil by Niki Gullley
Plein Air Painting & Photography Workshop in Santa Fe, NM
Day 4, morning location: Rio Chama
On Day 4 of our Santa Fe workshop, we headed out early for our most complex location, a striking scenic overlook of the Rio Chama. Being perched along the rim of a cliff, our group was a little nervous, but once they adjusted to the height, they could really appreciate the beauty of the scene for their paintings. With so much going on below and only a half day to capture the landscape, we had to majorly simplify the canyon into basic shapes and colors. The river not only served as a perfect focal point, but also created a soft flowing line to lead the viewer’s eye through our paintings. The rocky mountains provided a contrasting craggy texture and the green foliage added some life and color to the desert landscape.
Choosing to paint with palette knife today, I had a lot of fun playing with textures and mixing colors, which ended up adding to a feeling of spontaneity in the final painting, filled with energy and movement. While outside their comfort zone, my students’ also produced some of their best paintings from the trip!
Painting along the Rio Chama.
If you’d like more information on our upcoming
Plein-Air Painting & Photography Workshops, please e-mail me at Niki Gulley,
or visit my website at nikigulley.com/?page_id=13.
To see more of my contemporary impressionistic landscape paintings, go to http://nikigulley.com/?page_id=33,
or to purchase this plein air study from Santa Fe, e-mail me at Niki Gulley.
6×12 acrylic demo by Niki Gullley
Plein Air Painting & Photography Workshop in Santa Fe, NM
Day 3, location: Ghost Ranch
On Day 3 of our Santa Fe workshop, we headed to Georgia O’Keefe’s home and painted at the gorgeous Ghost Ranch. Between the striking rock formations, the beauty and uniqueness of the stark desert landscape, the perfectly formed white puffy clouds, and the pure quality of the light on everything in sight, it was challenging to narrow down a subject. But, I promised my acrylic painters that I’d do an acrylic demo for them, so I quickly chose this mountainside with the morning light creating brilliant peach and adobe colored highlights, contrasted against a turquoise-blue sky. The landscape was so wide and open, a panorama format seemed to work best for this scene.
While working with the acrylics were tricky due to their quick drying time, it was also far easier to avoid colors getting muddy from overworking the paint in oils. I just had to squeeze out less paint and more often than I do with oils. Establishing the major shapes and colors, then blocking in the darks, and lastly the highlights, I quickly sketched the scene for the group. Working with my largest brushes first for speed and continuity, and then moving into smaller ones for details. The left side of the scene needed something for balance, so I demonstrated how to paint this snarly cactus. With another half hour, I could have completed the scene but I wanted to get our group started on their paintings before the soft morning light was gone.

And, look at the results! Some of our students and their wonderful paintings at Ghost Ranch.

If you’d like more information on our upcoming
Plein-Air Painting & Photography Workshops, please e-mail me at Niki Gulley,
or visit my website at nikigulley.com/?page_id=13.
To see more of my contemporary impressionistic landscape paintings, go to nikigulley.com/?page_id=33,
or to purchase this plein air study from Santa Fe, e-mail me at Niki Gulley.