Brooks Pettus (1918-2003) was a noted western American artist who passed away in Kennewick, Washington, leaving behind a large body of work in watercolor and oil that only recently appeared on the market. Pettus earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of New Mexico, and spent time in Albuquerque and Taos in the early 1940's. New Mexico's artistically inspiring landscape stimulated Pettus' aesthetic sense as it has for countless others. Even though he became a professional engineer, moving to California and the Midwest, and ultimately working for the Washington Public Power Supply System, Pettus never lost his interest in creating fine art. In 2017, after the death of his beloved wife Elna, an estate sale was held at the family home in Kennewick. At this sale, hundreds of watercolors, and some oil paintings, were sold to the public. While passing through the area, I was fortunate enough to have been able to acquire a handful of the works that had been purchased by a local dealer at that notable sale, which was written up in advance in the local newspaper. This desirable, unframed watercolor landscape painting of an arid landscape with classic New Mexico adobe at lower left is one of the pieces I purchased. It measures 11 1/4" by 14 3/4". On the reverse, the artist signed it, dated it 1941, and titled it "View of Ranchos de Taos". This watercolor from very early in the artist's life draws from both classical and modernist predecessors who had been painting in New Mexico since the founding of the Taos art colony early in the century. There are two black spots in the sky as shown, and some very light handling creases; otherwise the work is in good condition, needing only a frame and mat. See a number of other works by Pettus in my shop.
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