Santa Fe, NM
July 12-August 1
This story was featured in the July 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art July 2013 print issue, or get the Southwest Art July 2013 digital download now…Or better yet, just subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!
Growing up in the small town of Dixon, NM, about 50 miles north of Santa Fe, Clarence Medina fell in love with two prominent aspects of his surroundings: nature and art. As a youngster, Medina spent a lot of time on Canyon Road, exploring galleries and admiring the artists he encountered throughout the area. “I saw artists painting outside all the time and I thought, ‘That’s what I want to do for a living,’” Medina says. He’s been painting en plein air for more than 20 years now, and he’s been a full-time artist for the last 10 years. Medina presents 20 to 30 new works in a solo show this month at Worrell Gallery. The show opens with a reception on Friday, July 12, from 5 to 8 p.m., and runs through August 1.
All of the pieces in the show were created on location in the northern New Mexico region where Medina still resides. “There is so much to paint within a 30-mile radius of my home,” he says. “The high roads offer great views in one direction, while venturing a few miles in another direction leads to large pine trees with a creek running through. Then there are the many little villages, each with an old church and adobe-style homes, where everyone seems to own an old beat-up truck.” And of course there’s the always-inspiring Rio Grande and its tributaries. “The Rio Grande is one of my favorite subjects to paint because the river reflections are just gorgeous,” Medina says.
While the artist’s subject matter hasn’t changed much over the years, his recent works reveal what has been a gradual shift in style. “When I first started painting, I was mainly focused on getting the details right. Now my paintings are much more loose and impressionistic,” Medina says. He’s also been adding more texture to his paintings lately. “Working alla prima, I can move the texture around, so [the painting] becomes almost like a sculpture,” he explains, adding that he enjoys this process in particular—and plein-air painting in general—because of the serendipitous “accidents” that can occur. “I enjoy experiencing the unexpected and leaving it on the canvas,” he says. —Lindsay Mitchell
Featured in the July 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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