"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 18, 2014

Rifts in abstract

Sandias--the vertical forces of the world--7 1/2 by 9 watercolor, handmade India paper
I grew up at the foot of the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, and my Dad painted them often.
I've tried and the subjects exhaust me, for they are complex, ever-changing in light and patterns and moods and views.
Today it dawned on me to paint them as they are--products of violent geologic splitting and uplift along the Rio Grand rift. Out of change and tumult and conflict can come beauty.
It is no coincidence that the skies over the Sandias often echo the geology. The mountains force clouds upward in collisions of weather that dwarf the 5,000-foot-high granite below.
(Matching rock on the west side of the Rio Grande is 5,000 feet below the current surface.)
If you want stability, live on the Great Plains, but for excitement and adventure, consider the vertical forces of the world, embodied in the Sandias.
I hope my rough abstract brushstrokes, and sunset red colors,  capture that turmoil and beauty.

1 comment:

  1. I like it!! I miss the clouds piling up and then falling over the mountains.

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