Plein air and studio paintings from the Arabian desert.
The Arabian desert is a fascinating land of constant change. The following paintings were painted on the edge of the Empty Quarter (Rub’ al Khali), which is the largest continuous sand desert in the world. It feels like a land of pillows. The smooth waves and mountains of sand shut out all noise and busyness, leaving you alone in a vast empty space where dunes recede endlessly into the horizon. The air, full of dust obscures the setting sun in violet, creating one of the most unique and silent views of the sun in the world. There is no other place as quiet and peaceful as the desert. The extremely fine sand, almost water-like, reflects a variety of beautiful colors throughout the day. Little critters as well as camel herds leave footprints throughout the dunes, only to quickly disappear with the constant changing wind. What an amazing place!
When you look at the paintings, imagine there is nothing to be heard.Well, ok… maybe a Toyota Landcruiser every now and then… the Arabs love driving through the desert!
The majority of the paintings below were finished on site in the open air, or “en plein air.” The larger works were based off of the outdoor studies. There is absolutely nothing like painting on-location and observing a scene first-hand. Though cameras continue to advance in quality, nothing can perfectly replicate the way our eyes see. Plein air painting provides an opportunity to observe the exact colors and values of a scene instead of copying a reproduction. Direct painting from life can be the most accurate way to communicate what we see.
The more time spent observing what is in front of us, the more that can be seen. Creation is full of amazing colors and details, the majority of which go unseen. As Michael Card puts it, “There’s beauty there to blind the eye.” It is a privilege to spend time studying what God has created.