Mixing Adobe Mud

I've struggled with different titles for this watercolor. Several people thought there was fire in the scene. I settled on "Mixing Adobe Mud". If you have observed the restoration of an historic adobe church in northern New Mexico it makes sense. If not, you are confused. Ambiguity is good in art but this image tells a story I want understood. The workers are shoveling dirt through an upright screen to sift out the large debris. A cloud of dust is created in the process. Other workers add water and straw, stirring the mixture to create the mud. The mud will be used to plaster the surface of the thick adobe walls of the church. The workers are volunteers, from the parish, who gather each year to restore this historic church in Taos, New Mexico. The title is also a play on words. Since watercolor artists are good at mixing muddy colors – I wanted to keep "mud" in the title. This painting is on a full sheet of 300 lb Arches Rough. 

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Woody Duncan

About Woody Duncan

  For 28 years, Woody enjoyed being a middle school art teacher back in Kansas. Upon retirement, along with his wife Frani, they moved to Albuquerque.  That was over four years ago. New Mexico was an easy choice.  Because, every June, for over 20 years, Woody drove to Taos, New Mexico for an annual watercolor workshop at the Sagebrush Inn. Woody quickly fell in love with the magical light of New Mexico. Upon moving here, he joined the New Mexico Watercolor Society and soon gained signature status. Woody is a past-president of the NMWS. He currently is editor of Brushstrokes – the NMWS monthly newsletter and serves as the NMWS delegate to the Western Federation of Watercolor Societies. For Woody, creating each new watercolor is a true learning experience. His mentor Mathew Monks taught him to love the fluid nature of this marvelous medium. Woody finds, “moving a loaded brush across a sheet of Arches to be a religious experience.”  He loves to paint early morning shadows and the raking light across a crumbling adobe wall. Woody also loves to paint the Poppies he grows at home in Albuquerque. Most recently, his favorite subjects have become his “fantastic” triplet grandkids. “I love painting Tim, Tess and Tiffanie as they frolic on the beach in California. If you love your subjects, that passion will show in your paintings.”  In trying to teach watercolor, Woody hopes to combine his teaching skills with his love for watercolor. He readily admits to stealing or borrowing ideas from many, many others over the years. Few techniques are original. “We share our ideas freely so each new artist need not feel they have to re-invent the wheel every time they begin a new painting.”  As for advice, Woody recommends that: “if you love watercolor, do it often and you will get better. Paint what you care about and it will show in your work. Take advantage of all the subtle little accidents that happen in your watercolors. The beauty of this medium is the inner action between the water, pigment and a good sheet of paper, go with the flow and you will improve.”  Artist/Teacher Woody Duncan - PO Box 91703 Albuquerque, NM 87199-1703 e-mail to: woodyduncan@comcast.net      my web site is: http://www.taospaint.com