"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.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Panhandle skies...home of storms

 
Watercolor-- 9 x 12
140# Kilimanjaro paper

It's wild out here, on the ground and above it...wild and free and terrible and violent and beautiful  in imagination and weather and life and landscape. A few people and thousands of cattle occupy the Texas panhandle, but they don't really own it, even if they claim it, any more than the Comanche or the buffalo did. They are tough and individualistic, or they couldn't survive, but they're only here for a little while, at the mercy of the elements. Their footprints are shallow and scarce and will soon be memories, just as the pre-historic Alibates flint quarries. But the hawks and eagles, the deer and coyotes, the bobcats and snakes and other wildlife will endure, along with the eternal wind and storms of the Llano Estacado and Caprock.

My previous painting was too tame, too muted, too flat in color and emotion. You can see that "devil's herd" "a plowing through the ragged skies and up a cloudy draw," without me trying to paint it, can't you? If you watch those skies and listen to the wind and scan the vast horizons, you can't miss them. 

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For more on the pre-historic flint quarries north of Amarillo, copy and past this link:

4 comments:

  1. Wow, that is really good. I think you have captured the essence.

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  2. Thanks...it's a challenge, emotionally

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  3. Perfectly captured! Even though I was born and raised in OKC - it's Western Oklahoma and this vast prairie sea that I miss the most when I am traveling. You are so talented!

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  4. Wow...Terry! Look at that sky! I could stare at this for a long time and never blink once!

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