Desert Paintings

Desert Paintings

Paint, the old-fashioned way: from the Rocks

Sandia Sunset I
Crows Across the Sky
Arroyo Seco
Arizona Fire Storm
Flying South
Flamenco Dance
High Road to Taos
Piñon Hills
The Turquoise Trail
Before the Hunt


Author: Mary C Simmons

I am curious about nearly everything. And I love freedom. And Art.

10 thoughts on “Desert Paintings”

  1. Fascinating. The Island doesn’t have rock colors as the south west so I’m curious about what the local First Nations used for pigment. Plants I expect, but now I want details. 🙂 Curiosity can get to be a habit!


    1. Most of the color in the landscape comes from the varying oxidation states of iron–the more red, the more oxidized–the more yellow, the less the iron is oxidized. Greens are usually un-oxidzed iron and are not as common as the reds, browns, tan, colors of oxidized iron.

      I’d be looking for clay on the island–with all those igneous rocks-which are abundant in the mineral feldspar-that’s where clay comes from-feldspar + rain = clay–island has lots of both–but the rocks and dirt (ie clay) are covered up by all that green stuff– 🙂


  2. I sent the link to your paintings to my Nanaimo potter friend, Jano, and she wondered if the clay-paint flaked when it dried. How does it stay on the board/canvas? Jano is 78 years old and back at University taking more pottery classes. Jano is most interested in sculpting the female form.


    1. The paint hasn’t flaked—I mixed the powdered clay with linseed oil–though I discovered afterwards that was not really necessary–hard to clean up, takes forever to dry—etc (I love the smell of linseed oil-reminds me of my childhood when my mother oil painted)

      After I made these paintings I read up on the history of paint–and discovered that there are many other binders that work better than linseed oil for this–it’s one of the many art projects on one of my many art burners.

      You’ve inspired me to revisit this burner–as I am scheduled for a multi-media art show in April

      –thanks Leanne!


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