Aspens in the Morning Light

There is no better time to paint aspen trees than in the morning light, and there are few better places to paint them than in the Jemez (pronounced Hay-mez) Mountains, west of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Named for a Native American tribe that still lives there, the Jemez Mountains are interesting and quite unlike the nearby Sangre de Cristo (Spanish for “Blood of Christ”) Mountains.

The “Sangres,” as they are known locally, begin as small bumps in the landscape just southeast of Santa Fe and grow continually larger as they make their way through Colorado to Wyoming. They’re the longest range in the Rockies.

By contrast, the Jemez are an isolated range that’s unconnected to any other mountains. They rise to over 11,500 feet within the boundaries of northern New Mexico and are not considered part of the Rocky Mountains.

I got a very early start the day I painted this scene on site. The sweet light, so popular with artists and photographers, made it worthwhile. And since this acrylic painting sold almost as fast as it landed in my gallery, the experience felt even sweeter!

The original acrylic painting was sold to a private collector by an art gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Prints and note cards are available at

This painting and all reproductions of it are © Bernard Marks. No unauthorized use is permitted. All rights reserved.