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 expansive, arid landscape with classic New Mexico adobes and dirt tracks is one of the pieces I purchased from the group. It is unsigned, and measures 15" by 20". At lower left, the artist titled it "Ranchos de Taos" and dated it 10-9-74, On reverse, interestingly, he wrote in pencil "slide 9/30/88", so, perhaps, he kept records of his paintings. Compare this work to a watercolor in my shop by Pettus, of the very same subject, from 1941---very early in the artist's life. Evidently he found the subject so interesting that he painted it over at least a 30 plus year period. This is needing only a frame and mat. Extreme lower right corner is broken off but any mat would hide this anyway. See a number of other works by Pettus in my shop.
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