“San Pablo Ridge,” by Maryann McGraw, pastel, 9 x 16 in.

Plein air pastels by New Mexico artist Maryann McGraw are the subject of an exhibition on view now through April 30 at the Purple Sage Gallery in Albuquerque’s Old Town.

“The idea of the show started when I was asked by the Pastel Society of New Mexico to give a demonstration,” McGraw says. “In the past I have received awards for my paintings of New Mexico skies. So it became the idea for my demo. I had gotten positive feedback from the demo, so I decided to take it to the next step. So the theme of the work at the Purple Sage Gallery is ‘The Drama and Beauty of New Mexico Skies.’

“Cabezon Sunset,” by Maryann McGraw, pastel, 12 x 16 in.
“Cabezon Sunset,” by Maryann McGraw, pastel, 12 x 16 in.
“Half Moon,” by Maryann McGraw, pastel, 9 x 12 in.
“Half Moon,” by Maryann McGraw, pastel, 9 x 12 in.
“Serenity at Sunset,” by Maryann McGraw, pastel, 11 x 14 in.
“Serenity at Sunset,” by Maryann McGraw, pastel, 11 x 14 in.
“Stormy Skies,” by Maryann McGraw, pastel, 11 x 14 in.
“Stormy Skies,” by Maryann McGraw, pastel, 11 x 14 in.
“Turbulent Skies at Sunset,” by Maryann McGraw, pastel, 12 x 16 in.
“Turbulent Skies at Sunset,” by Maryann McGraw, pastel, 12 x 16 in.

“Most of the paintings have cloudscapes as the focal point of the painting. My background is in science so I am drawn to cloud formations, distinctive cloud types that reflect fleeting moments, atmospheric turbulence, and patterns in the sky. In addition to the cloudscapes I have some paintings like ‘San Pablo Ridge’ that I think is just a great plein air painting, so it is in the show. In the ‘San Pablo Ridge’ painting the cloud pattern gives emphasis to the snowy ridge below.”

Go here to see the pieces in the show.

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