The Warm Desert, a Plein Air painting by Lucien Vannerson captures and contrasts the promised cool of the distant shaded mountains with their cool purple grey and blue tones with the warmth in the earth tones of yellows, tans and oranges of the bright sunlit vegetation and the rocky, sandy desert valley floor of the foreground. The large creosote tree of the right foreground blazes with heat and light while providing sheltering shade underneath that echoes the cool shade of the distant mountains. The En Plein Air format of the contrasting of light and shadow and sky and earth is clearly seen in Vannerson’s The Warm Desert.
This painting was originally sold through the influential and pioneering Jean Seth Gallery of Santa Fe New Mexico. The Seth Gallery established in the very early 1960’s was the first Art Gallery on the now well known Canyon Road Art District of Santa Fe. Two original Gallery tags are affixed to the back. The Seth Gallery presented Southwestern Art not only from established artists such as Vannerson and Georgia O’Keefe but Jean Seth also presented and championed artwork from talented up and coming Southwestern artists. The original price of $400.00 is noted on the frame which in the very early 1960’s was a considerable amount of money.
Dr. Lucien C. Vannerson, 1904 – 1982, was born in Ochiltree, Texas, attended Technical College in Texas and Chiropractic College in Oklahoma. Dr.Vannerson opened a Chiropractic office in the southern California town of El Centro in 1941. A self taught artist he would go to the desert to paint in order to clear his mind and relax from the routine and pressure of the Chiropractic office. By 1950 his Plein Air desert landscapes were receiving notice in the southern California area. In 1956 Vannerson entered two paintings in the Arizona State Fair Art Competition and won four awards on the two paintings including firsts. From that date on, he considered himself a professional artist and never returned to Chiropractic work. He moved to Mesa, Arizona in the mid 1950’s and stayed there painting southwestern subjects until his death.
SELF TITLED: The Warm Desert; pencil on back of frame. MEDIUM: Oil on prepared Masonite. SIGNED: Vannerson, LR in block letters inscribed in wet paint. TIME PERIOD: Early 1960’s. GROSS SIZE: 47 1/2” x 27 5/16”. VIEWING AREA: 39 3/8” x 19 3/8”. ORIGINAL 1960’s FRAMING. CONDITION: Excellent.
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