"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 watercolor, metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cabin view


If I had a cabin, this is the view I'd like. Mount Blanca, in Southern Colorado, the Navajos' Sacred Mountain of the East. From a photograph in my new book by Anne Hillerman and her photographer husband Don Strel, "Hillerman Landscape." They trace in words and photos the locations her late father Tony used in his outstanding mystery stories set in the Navajo and Zuni Southwest of my beloved New Mexico and Arizona.

I got this great first edition, signed by the authors, from a bookstore in Albuquerque. You can find relatively inexpensive copies of this and many other new and used books at abe.com.

I've been struggling for days to paint clouds, and this book and this photo made it possible, including the cloud shadows, always adding to the drama of the landscape. In the west, mountains are the roots of clouds, and all creation is one, something the Navajo know, but the white man has forgotten.

1 comment:

  1. I have heard tell that clouds are one of the hardest features in nature to paint. You have certainly captured them and the Navajo's Sacred Mt. here in this beautiful scene.

    I fear that the white race has forgotten, or never learned to begin with, so much of what our Native brothers and sisters have tried to teach us. Sad, really.