"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, July 27, 2017

Heart of Darkness--watercolor


Conrad's Heart, 7 by 11 watercolor, 300 lb. d'Arches
“The sea-reach of the Thames stretched before us like the beginning of an interminable waterway. In the offing the sea and the sky were welded together without a joint, and in the luminous space the tanned sails of the barges drifting up with the tide seemed to stand still in red clusters of canvas sharply peaked, with gleams of varnished sprits. A haze rested on the low shores that ran out to sea in vanishing flatness. The air was dark above Gravesend, and farther back still seemed condensed into a mournful gloom, brooding motionless over the biggest, and the greatest, town on earth.”--Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
Joseph Conrad is my favorite English author, and his short novel "Heart of Darkness" my favorite fiction.  
I first met Conrad in high school speech class, doing a dramatic reading from "Lord Jim." By the time I was an English major and teacher,  his description and storytelling enthralled me.  Not sure why, other than romantic notions of going to sea as a land bound idealist. It's no accident that my first born son's middle name is "Conrad."
Looking back as I read his words in a longtime copy of "Heart of Darkness, " perhaps some of the allure  was his strong description, imagery and dramatic narrative, all influences as I turned toward journalism.
At any rate, the second paragraph of the book has always been a favorite for imagination and the travel urge. Inspiration for  today's painting, from that second paragraph.
Day 27 of WorldWatercolorMonth daily challenge.
Palette--Ultamarine & Prussian blue, Alizirine crimson, quin gold & sienna, gamboge, Aureolin yellow.

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