I painted “Looking Over The Rio Grande” entirely en plein air during the worst of this year’s unusually intense fire season. Smoke from the California, Arizona and Colorado fires blanketed our normally clear blue New Mexico skies, and driving up the mountain on my way to paint this painting the mountains disappeared several times into the haze. This ancient land has endured many such events and still our Rio Grande river snakes its way southward, still an old juniper tree holds on to the edge of the cliff. The orangey sunlight in the foreground in contrast to lavender shadows reminded me of painting ocean beach-sand colors. As an outdoor painter, my mind wanders to another time long, long ago when maybe this was an inland sea. Such a privilege to record a moment in paint on our beautiful timeless Earth. — Madina Croce
Award-winning American Impressionist painter Madina Croce, who signs her paintings, DINI, has been painting and showing her striking florals and landscapes, painted from life, for 18 years. Primarily self-taught, she strives to portray moments in time and light. Croce feels as much at home painting outdoors in her native New Mexico as in the wilds of the California coast.