Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sketching in Aztec, New Mexico

Mistakenly considered to be Aztec in origin by early white settlers, the site actually contains the ruins of a 12th-century Ancestral Pueblo settlement built by people associated with Chaco Canyon to the south. The Ancestral Pueblo people, formerly known as Anasazi, were ancestors of the modern Pueblo Indians. They lived in multilevel communal dwellings constructed of sandstone, mud, and stones.

100 degrees outside at Aztec Ruins, New Mexico
On this sweltering hot hilltop, my granddaughter and I sketched as fast as we could and escaped into the cool indoors to add color later.

A section of the ruins at Aztec, New Mexico.
Aztec Ruins National Monument, archaeological site in northwestern New Mexico, U.S. It is situated on the Animas River, in the city of Aztec, about 10 miles (16 km) south of the Colorado state line. The national monument was established in 1923 and designated a World Heritage site in 1987 (along with Chaco Culture National Historical Park to the south). It has an area of about 320 acres (130 hectares).

Looking east across the Animas River from the ruins. 
From another viewpoint, I got most of the color before I couldn't take the 100 degree "dry" heat. At least my watercolor washes dried quickly. 


  1. Lovely sketches of the area!!! I remember sketching in Sedona and I swear the paint dried before it every reached the paper. lol

    1. Thanks, Joan. So true about the washes drying quickly. That cloudy sky was quite the challenge with my water brush and the climate. LOL

  2. Lovely sketches! I appreciate that you endured the heat to make them! It was 85 yesterday when I sketched in the shade, and that was plenty hot for me.

    1. Thank you, Tina. I really wanted to come sketching with everyone on Friday, but I ended up just trying to readjust after travel, altitude, and heat. I wondered how everyone was doing at Kubota Gardens with the current heatwave.