"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Dust vewing stars---equinox

Mystical Equinox, 9 by 12 watercolor, 140# Fabriano Artistico
Equinox. For us today,  it is just a day on the calendar, when day and night are the same length, our "official" change of seasons.
But it is also mystical,  humanity's feeble attempt to measure time, as though existence on earth, and our so brief lives, were the center of a wheeling  universe where time and space are so vast.
For ancients, measuring "man-made" time became mystic, requiring stone temples and barbaric rites. 
Perhaps we shouldn't forget, and take time to ponder how small we are, mere dust viewing stars, part of a celestial creation.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Real Native American...watercolor

"Big Ears," 5 by 7 watercolor
Today's watercolor is in spite of the fact that I'm not a wildlife artist. Wildlife artists study their subjects, know anatomy, behavior and so much more.
But this coyote is inspired by a photo my son Vance took of one of his new neighbors near their house in the hill country west of San Antonio.

Got me to thinking about two books I read last year, by Dan Flores, "Coyote America," and "American Serengeti."
I like coyotes, but of course I don't raise sheep or cattle, and they can be scourges of newborns.
But in spite of the best efforts of ranchers with the help of your money financing the federal government trying exterminate them you can't.
As a result of the attempted ethnic cleansing, coyotes have flourished and spread from the West and Great Plains, across the Mississippi and now inhabit every major metropolitan area, including Central Park in NYC.
Read Flores' books. He grew up in the Texas Panhandle and lives in New Mexico, and is a master storyteller, blending history, science, myth and so much more in telling the story of what American Indians, Native Americans, call "the trickster." 
To me, this native American is "Big Ears."
One of the new neighbors for the Vance Clark family

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Celestial journeys--Autumn Meadows

Autumn Meadows, 8 by 10 watercolor, 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico
Autumn meadows are journeys that awaken me, reminding me of more than just  a peaceful view tucked in between trees and hills. 
They are not just earthly, but testaments to the wheeling cosmos of the universe. Life and death and eternity churn together in a celestial mix of lives, souls and creation. 
Take a walk or drive the back roads, and every meadow tells a story of another year--Seed time and harvest, shorter days and years and lives, falling leaves and brilliant colors.
That's why a lane winding through an autumn meadow always beckons me to follow it, bringing to mind the people and places I've journeyed with this year, as I wonder what's around the next bend.
Today's watercolor, a meadow, a lane, a cabin, a journey.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

September sunset

September Sunset, Great Plains, 9 by 12 watercolor, 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico
Great Plains, home of my soul, along with the mountains and autumn...where else to go when you need solitude, and memories and treasures of those who have molded your life?
Roads untraveled
Skies beckoning of places and people
Shadows full of color
And wanting...

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Freedom, in the skies

Freedom, Taos sky, 9 by 12 watercolor, 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico
"Out here there's the sky"
Readings, of freedom...as an introvert, or as a falcon (Quiet, the Power of Introverts, by Cain, or Falcon, by Macdonald)...
Dreams of New Mexico, where, as Willa Cather wrote, the sky is, it determines all. 
Back after a drought of writing and painting, the call of freedom, found only in the spirit of the skies.
Thanks to Susan Clark and Mary Carver for prodding, when yhou didn't know you were.