"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.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Landscape I love--for Dad

5 by 7 watercolor, 140 pound arches paper


The landscape northwest of Albuquerque on the road to Chaco is dramatic, captivating with geologic formations and colors you can't imagine. This is near the turnoff to Jemez Pueblo, and is part of the uplift and tilting of once sedimentary rocks by the huge volcanic activity that produced the Jemez caldera. (Pronounced  Ha-mez if you don't know)

It's still a violent and peaceful local...the location of Los Alamos nearby and the development of the A-bomb is symbolic, but not as old as the dances of the Jemez Pueble where you can watch but not take photos nor write nor draw--the descendants of the Anasazi (the old ones) at Chaco ruins who disappeared without a trace 1,000 years ago...and where I camped four years ago, alone and happy and freezing on spring break. Fortunately, I photographed this sentinel on the way up/ The formations remind me of beached WWI battleships...Indeed they are beached in time so old we cannot imagine.

Dad, from you I inherited a small portion of artistic talent, and a huge love for your New Mexico. Happy Father's Day.

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