John Marin (1870-1953), Taos Landscape, 1929; watercolor and charcoal on paper, 15 1/4 x 20 1/2 in.; The Tia Collection, Santa Fe, NM
Watercolor was a medium favored by many modern artists because of its immediacy in rendering what was simultaneously seen and felt. The facile and ambidextrous Marin was a master of this transparent, fluid medium. Taos Landscape is one of his initial impressions, painted during his first summer at Mabel’s, at a time when he was looking for new vistas. In appreciation, he gave it to Mabel. Marin captures the vast distances visible in an arid climate, the dapple and ripple of riparian environs, and the motion of fast-moving clouds.