Machu Picchu – 2

(Originally posted 26 July)

I have added more definition to the distant peaks, though they seem too dark at the moment. I have also started working on Huayna Picchu, the big peak that dominates the view, working top down.

From Wikipedia:

The Incas built a trail up the side of the Huayna Picchu and built temples and terraces on its top. The peak of Huayna Picchu is 2,693 metres (8,835 ft) above sea level, or about 260 metres (850 ft) higher than Machu Picchu. According to local guides, the top of the mountain was the residence for the high priest and the local virgins. Every morning before sunrise, the high priest with a small group would walk to Machu Picchu to signal the coming of the new day.

The word “Picchu” is a hispanicization of the Quechua (ancient language of the Andes peoples) meaning  pyramid.

The river Urubamba almost completely surrounds Huayna Picchu apart from a narrow ridge leading from Machu Picchu mountain; the Inca ruins sit between the two peaks with extremely steep slopes on both sides down to the river.

Machu Picchu – work in progress

(Originally posted 22 July)

My daughter-in-law, Lissete, comes from Lima, Peru. We have naturally visited this amazing country and have many fantastic memories and photos.

I have hesitated to paint the iconic Machu Picchu site, as even the many photographs I have do not do the place justice. The site sits above jaw-dropping cliffs down to the Urubamba river and has a calm, watchful atmosphere and an air of mystery. The Spanish Conquistadors did not find it when they invaded and there are many theories as to its purpose. One I like is that it was an agricultural research station – each terrace has it’s own microclimate.

I have decided to combine some of the detail I photographed in the morning when the weather was fine with the sombre shadows of the rain clouds we encountered in the afternoon.

This is the first stage – I have started to block out the shapes in the picture. That has already allowed me to see that some of the shapes are not quite right. I am using several photos in addition to my memory – so the final result will not exactly match any one of the photos!