“Cross Hatch” Palette Knife Aspen Tree Painting by Niki Gulley

“Cross Hatch”
SOLD • 12″ x 18″ textured oil by Niki Gulley
 
Just Sold! Recently, we visited Santa Fe and to escape the heat we ventured up the Santo de Cristo mountains to cool down amongst the beautiful, refreshing aspen trees. I was attracted to this grouping of trunks in particular with their beautiful textured white bark and their proximity and angles to each other. Their verticality offset by the horizontal logs on the ground made for an interesting composition. On this piece, I decided to pull in tight on the trunks, really focusing on the peeling bark and gnarled knots. I chose to include just a sliver of the sentinels behind to give you a sense of being surrounded by the peaceful forest and accentuating the rhythm in the upright trunks. Pops of red add to the joy and energy of the moment. I hope you, too, can feel the serenity of this rejuvenating place.
 
E-mail Niki Gulley for more information on her palette knife aspen and birch tree paintings.
See NikiGulley.com to see more of her contemporary landscape paintings.

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.

Just Sold “Morning Shadows” from Santa Fe by Niki Gulley

“Morning Shadows,” Santa Fe • SOLD
9″ x 12″ textured oil by Niki Gulley
 
Just Sold!  During our Santa Fe Art Trek, we visited this peaceful little street where each home is postcard perfect. Between the unique adobe architecture, the dramatic morning light, and the beautiful plantings surrounding each home, it was hard to choose what to paint! Each student found something different that excited them, and I became fascinated with this window and rain spout, and the deep shadows they were casting. I also loved the glowing Russian sage against the golden terra cotta wall and the beautiful plum tree in the distance.
 
Above: Painting in Santa Fe.
 
Visit nikigulley.com/artreks/ for upcoming Art Treks and Workshops or 
E-mail Niki Gulley for more information.
See NikiGulley.com to see more of her contemporary landscape paintings.

Day 2, Santa Fe Art Trek with Niki Gulley

SANTA FE ART TREK:  Plein Air Painting / Photography Workshop with Niki Gulley and Scott Williams  
Day 2, morning location – downtown Santa Fe
9″ x 12″ textured oil by Niki Gulley

On day 2 of our Santa Fe Art Trek, we visited this peaceful little street where each home is postcard perfect. Between the unique adobe architecture, the dramatic morning light, and the beautiful plantings surrounding each home, it was hard to choose what to paint! Each student found something different that excited them, and I became fascinated with this window and rain spout, and the deep shadows they were casting. I also loved the glowing Russian sage against the golden terra cotta wall and the beautiful plum tree in the distance.
Above: Painting in Santa Fe.
Visit nikigulley.com/artreks/ for upcoming Art Treks and Workshops or
E-mail Niki Gulley for more information.

Lake Como / Cinque Terre Plein Air Painting Workshop

“Peaceful Harbor,” Lake Como, Italy ©2012 Niki Gulley
oil on canvas • 24″ x 36″
Lake Como, Italy is probably my favorite spot from all of our travels. The vistas are simply breathtaking with the alps in the background, the gorgeous blue of the lake, the brightly colored unique buildings and the lush foliage dotting the magnificent gardens. I love this little laid back town of Varenna, which is so peaceful that all of your cares just melt away. 

If you’d like to join us in Cinque Terre and Lake Como, Italy this Sept. 7th – 16th for our next Plein-Air Painting / Photography Workshop, e-mail Niki Gulley for more information or visit nikigulley.com/artreks. Registration deadline Feb. 17th.
To see more of my paintings from Europe visit NikiGulley.com.

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.