"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.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Tree rings--El Alamo Viejo

El Alamo Viejo, Santa Fe, 11 by 14 watercolor
 My favorite tree, an old twisted cottonwood at the corner of Alameda and Paseo del Peralta on the banks of the Santa Fe "river" in Santa Fe, has put on another ring this year, a record of its growth and the weather.
As another year comes to an end,  the tree reminds me of the values of age, and of life, of being different.
The older it grows, the more interesting, more substantial, more important. 
Its weathered, rugged trunk and twisted limbs bespeak its character. Deep roots thrive in an arid land on the nearby  often scarce water.
Santa Fe tree, 11 by 14 watercolor
It endures, ignored by throngs of hurried travelers driving by every day, who think it's just another tree, unaware of the stories it has  lived. I don't know how old it is but I expect it is older than anyone now living.
I guess that's why it's my favorite tree, because it reminds me of aging humans.  We, with shorter life spans, also become more interesting, develop more character, have lived more stories and become more substantial as the years go by.
Tree rings. Thus it is that I've tried to paint it many times.
A previous article, photo and paintings: El Alamo Viejo

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