Carol Meckling’s paintings emphasize big skies and landscapes.
Her show, “Land and Sky,” will be on display at Olio restaurant in Mancos through Feb. 4. An artist reception will be held Saturday at the restaurant from 4 to 6 p.m.
Meckling moved to Bayfield from Seattle about a year ago. Instead of a canvas, Meckling’s painting surface of choice is wood from hollow core doors that were salvaged from her old house in Seattle, she said.
“The wood grain shows up in the paintings,” she said. “I like the way the paint moves across the wood surface.”
Meckling learned landscape painting while studying in San Francisco with artist Nicholas Wilton. She also spent a week as an artist-in-residence at Willowtail Springs north of Mancos. From those experiences, Meckling built up a body of work of landscape paintings.
“I had never done that before,” she said. “They were not any landscapes in particular, but inspired by places I’ve seen.”
The artist’s works include more literal, realist landscape scenes, such as “Stormy Mesa,” which depicts a thunderstorm rolling in over Mesa Verde as viewed from Willowtail Springs. She also paints more abstract interpretations of sky and landscape scenes.
Working with wood instead of canvas also gives Meckling an opportunity to explore the different ways that the paint interacts with the wood surface, she said. She tends to use brushes less and less, adding and subtracting layers as her works evolve, she said.
For her painting “Phoenix Rising,” Meckling started with a photo she took at a nature preserve that she was trying to recreate, but it wasn’t working out. So she started adding layers to the painting, and soon a bird shape emerged. She did some stenciling work and eventually added dark red paint to the surface, and it became a depiction of a phoenix rising from flames.
“Painting this way creates something really spontaneous and fresh,” she said.
Some of her paintings are more from memories and some are from pictures, but they evolve into something that isn’t exactly a picture, she said. Seeing what emerges from that process is exciting, she said.
“It becomes a really expressive process,” Meckling said. “That’s why I make art. It’s about the process. That’s super-exciting.”