"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 watercolor, metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Starlight dreams of peace

Starlight Dreams, today's 5 x 7 #watercolor card
Peace. Quiet. Starlight. The road home.
'Tis the season when we need that most, in our world, in our country, in our families, in our dreams, in our hearts.

Having fun? You must be learning

Refresh Creative--humor and success--part 2.

Bryan and Jenny Grigsby, @RefreshCreate

Quit your jobs, start out on your own, in an area that's not your college major?
"Trail Boss" and "Content Curmudgeon," @RefreshCreate
Why not? @RefreshCreate, Jenny and Bryan Grigsby have done that, running social media for 11-12 clients, mostly restaurants, like Hideaway. It's all been word of mouth references also...they haven't had to advertise. 
They work from home, and their advice to #clarkclass was punctuated with humor and practical advice.
After they left, we debrief, which is apparently turning into a contest, as@Yolexiswade Alexis Wade tweeted a photo--"Clash of the Titans." 
Judging by the smiles, we must be having fun, which means learning.

Debriefing again recorded by@MadisonSturgill
  • The art of this job is bouncing off of each other to create content
  • Human interaction is very important
  • Being a part of a team
  • Must maintain thick skin when receiving criticism
  • Improve is super important to have as a skill
  • Where ever you go, meet people
  • Identify the tone and voice of your clients
  • It’s just one big tangled mess
  • Posting is just barely the tip of the iceberg
  • Humor and personality in the job
  • If you’re not connected to the people, you aren’t connected to their business
  • Don’t take everything on twitter so seriously
  • There’s no such thing as a typical day
  • You can go into your day thinking things will go one thing but they never do
  • They don’t promote themselves
  • They really enjoy their jobs – no matter the money
  • Humor is great but don’t let it go too far
  • You will run into obstacles that you don’t normally see
  • They had to figure out how and what to respond to different posts
  • Develop your social media page like a character

Monday, November 19, 2018

'Tis the seasons

"Holiday Cabin," 5 x 7 #watercolor card
Holidays...time for family and friends and food and memories and dreams.
Like a cabin in the snowy mountains with a good fire, books, company, and...happiness comes in many incarnations.
Every day is a unique and irreplaceable gift, and if we waste it, it's  throwing away our heartbeats.
Which is why we should be mindful of those who have not happiness, and somehow, do something about it. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Sporty storyteller, Skype, Holograms next?

Mike Sherman's twitter page
Ask Mike Sherman a question about twitter and @MikeSherman answers by telling stories, stories about people and sports.
Mike, a graduate of our UCO journalism program in the 1980s is now sports editor of the Tampa Bay Times, after holding the same position at our student newspaper, The Vista, and The Oklahoman.
He's an earlier adopter of twitter and considers it essential to covering sports, or anything else for that matter, for a newspaper.
Class member Ryan Dunn's pix and tweet and question.
I bet it won't be 10 years.
He's also an earlier adopter of the twitter for media class when it was first offered in December, 2014...12 versions ago.
Technology met technology as we "Skyped" him in for the second time. He in his newsroom, while watching people in flip flops and shorts outside in Florida, while we shivered with freezing temperatures outside.
The stories he tells are punctuated with specific dates and people of games that long ago, so as a journalist he's a model of how to use twitter professionally.
After the session, we debriefed, and her are some student comments, including a few from four years ago, dutifully recorded by @MadisonSturgill.

  • He’s hired people he found on twitter, checking their work
  • A storyteller, one for every point
  • Talked about “Mr. Unreliable”
  • Worked for The Oklahoman for almost 30 years
  • He’s not going to hire someone without a twitter presence
  • Twitter isn’t the only place to use but it’s a heck of a start
  • Can’t live without twitter
  • All news is “breaking” these days
  • Views himself as a friend of the readers
  • Our classes have changed the curriculum at UCO
  • Even though everyone wants to get paid it’s a compliment when someone is interested in your work
  • Goes to different writers to increase his traffic
  • How you conduct yourself on twitter shows how you are as a person
  • Try not to use absolutes on twitter
  • He uses twitter as a phonebook (found a vet for his old yellow lab)
  • Finding out what’s important. That’s how you use twitter
  • Watches the game while using twitter at work
  • Cautioned us about the negative side of twitter and to be careful
  • Be an early adopter. It opens up new ideas
  • Twitter can be “all bad and a bag of chips” but it can also be good
  •  You have to distribute your own content
  • You're your own paperboy
  • Liked the “What’s the Headline” and the use of reader involvement
  • Staying connected and getting connected is important
  • Conversation is the most important technological medium
  • Twitter is one of the greatest listening devices of all time and one of the greatest search engines
  • After "Mr. Unreliable," he went on twitter and asked the public what ideas were for headlines, admitting they were wrong to lighten the mood about the situation
  • The paper is a way of answering questions for the people that can’t ask them themselves

My students' role model

Jill Castilla and her UCO fan club
 There's not much you can write about Jill Castilla, @JillCastilla,  CEO of Edmond's Citizens Bank that hasn't already been written. 
I'm thankful she takes time from her busy schedule to speak to my unique in Oklahoma twitter for media students at the UCO Mass Comm Department, time and again. 
 She is such a role model in many ways, not just in the use of social media, but in a time of much negativity, of positive living and influence and character. 
Jill and our other guests have made this class into something I never imagined...it's not really about twitter and social media...it's about life. Thank you, Jill. 

She shares how she's overcome numerous obstacles throughout life and business to become a national figure of leadership in success in business, and in life. Google her and you'll find the articles and awards. 
 For me and my students, she brings inspiration and advice illustrated with a contagious smile, personal stories about herself and the bank, and a vibrant, dynamic personality.After she left, we debrief, and my students' reactions show how important she is to them, dutifully recorded by @MadisonSturgill 

  • I want Jill Castilla and Scott Williams as my mentors. 
  • Be an early adopter.
  •  GAP--Stay genuine accurate and positive, quoting @ScottWilliams as a mentor. 
  • The great thing about social media is you have everyone at your fingertips. 
  • You can find anything you want through social media. 
  •  It's not about the numbers, it's about the engagements. 
  • She took 33 hours in one semester! I'll not complain about my 12 hours ever again. 
  • I was inspired that no matter how many obstacles came her way she embraced them and moved forward, not letting those things stop her. I relate to that personally because I have had some obstacles throughout my life and I have managed to get through some of them and am still working on others. 
  • I think she has an amazing way of speaking and changing things for the better.
  •  How Jill used Twitter to create a better bond with people. She saw Twitter as a place where people would be able to see her as a different version of herself. A mother, a wife, etc. not just Jill from Citizens Bank(the scary lady). 
  • She was able to network with others through this and in a way also helped Citizens Bank improve.
  •  Never deviate from who you are.
  •   Take trips and opportunities while you’re still young. It only gets harder the older you get.
  • When you change something, you will always have haters. 
  • GAP...Stay genuine, accurate and positive.
  •  Surround yourself with people who can elevate you to another level. 
  • Also I didn’t know the best way to estimate how many portapottys to put out there was to count the trash lmao. 
  •  One thing that resonated with me and gave me insight was when she began to talk about McGiver, “He has so little resources that’s why he’s so creative.” WOW! something we should all follow. 
  •  Always be able to adjust to your circumstances.
  •  Started Heard on Hurd, turned Citizens Bank around..

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Light from darkness

Light from Darkness, today's #watercolor, 5 x 7

"Light from darkness."
This is for those who fought against tyranny and hatred and lies in this week's election, and who won, and especially those who lost--but you did not fail.
You bring light into the world when it is needed most. Thank you for your courage and hope and integrity, against all odds. Light always defeats darkness.
From Rumi-
  • "In a night full of pain and darkness, be a candle spreading light until dawn."
  • "Life's waters flow from darkness, Search the darkness, don't run from it."
  • "The wound is the place where light enters you."

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Living lessons in staying up to date in rapid change

From twitter for media class, #clarkclass, at UCO Mass Comm Dept.

Ok, funny photo of #clarkclass, suggested by Dr. Desiree Hill. Humor helps you stay up to date
by @okieprof
How to you stay up to date?
It takes work, curiosity, and associating with those colleagues who set the example.
In rapidly changing times, one of the easiest pitfalls for professionals who become professors is to be stuck in the past, or not adapt to the present and future, even though we urge our students to be able to adapt, to always learn. Do do that negates our valuable experience.
That's one of the joys for me in teaching the twitter for media class, in bringing in colleagues and professionals who are living sermons in living change, from many different fields.
"...this class isn't about twitter, it's about the future and life."
And for me, an old newspaper guy, one person who sets that example for our students is our broadcast professor Dr. Desiree Hill @dezhill.
It's apparent to me from these guests, and my students, that the class is not about twitter...its about the future and life. 
Dr. Hill's quote sums it up for me, "Twitter isn't what it will be."
Dr. Hill brings a wealth of information to our students, with research, with effective teaching methods, with questions, with hands on passion to involve our students in journalism, and life.
So here are student comments from our debriefing, after she left, dutifully recorded by my student@MadisonSturgill.

  • Social Media is like a relationship (dating, learning, breakup?)
  • For journalists, tweet about everything at least 20 times a day
  • Follow opinion leaders, they will often follow you back
  • Figure out what that specific social media platform needs from you
  • Always protect your credibility
  • Hashtags on twitter – see what others are talking about
  • Journalists are always in the spotlight when it comes to social media
  • Humor is subjective
  • The rules of good writing apply to Twitter
  • Don’t write anything you wouldn’t say in public
  • Journalism is like trying to catch a greased pig
  • You are representing yourself and your employer at all times when using social media
  • Twitter opens a chance for people to get to know each other
  • What is our generation going to look like in 20 years?
  • Twitter isn’t what it will be
  • You can still be a college student and use proper grammar
  • Twitter is a place where you can be a reporter, even if you aren’t one yet
  • YouTube keeps going and growing
And, yes, there is a serious side to the class.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

OKC communication pro-from dead raccoons and beyond

@zachnash with #clarkclass, twitter for media, at UCO Mass Comm this week with @okieprof
Former student and friend Zach Nash @zachnash brought stories, details and humor on Oklahoma City's extensive communication efforts to #clarkclass this week.
A former editor of The Vista, student newspaper for UCO, under the auspices of the Journalism/Mass Comm Department, he traced his background from embarrassing headlines to newspaper work before becoming   communications and marketing manager for the city.
The city has about 71 different social media accounts in various departments, thousands of potholes, and Nash believes social media has helped the city stay in touch with its citizens. But analytics show that most city customers get their information from the monthly water bill newsletter.
(Hint, if you're in an organization and want a comprehensive look at the city's communication efforts, contact Nash.)
You can tell he's still a journalist, inserting comments about government transparency, the first amendment, and serving citizens.
He started his presentation about a viral social media event in Toronto about a dead raccoon that the city took a long time to pick up.
After he left, we debriefed as usual. Here are some of each student's comments, dutifully recorded by @madisonsturgill
  • Have thick skin and be able to take criticism
  • Don’t let people use your photos without paying
  • Don’t forget your first amendment rights
  • Local government touches so many people’s lives
  • Put a face to bureaucracy
  • Be consistent with the voice of what you’re portraying
  • make sure you put your initials after you reply to people
  • Kill them with kindness
  • Water newsletter was important
  • High percentage of crime tips come from social media
  • Respond to negative feedback / don’t delete it
  • Dead raccoon – one post can take off
  • Be aware of what you put online
  • Think about who we're impacting through the decisions we make over the next 20 years
  • Monitor your posts after you post them
  • We turn to social media when regular customer service fails
  • Plan in advance
  • "Pubic" doesn’t auto correct to "public"-spell check
  • Sometimes people just want their voices to be heard
  • Show your followers you’re accessible
  • He would rather talk to someone who is angry with him than talk to someone who is happy with him
Zach at my retirement last year with the Steve Hill @sportstoons caricature he arranged

Monday, October 29, 2018

The West , where landscape becomes a feeling.

"The West," 8 x 10ish #watercolor, 300 lb. d'Arches cold press paper
The West always beckons me...land of dramatic landscapes and colors, of vast and vibrant skies, of moods and memories.
Thus today's watercolor...painting what I feel, not what I see., from traveling New Mexico and beyond.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Paint what you feel, not see

"Autumn," 6 1/2 by 8, #watercolor, 140 lb. d'Arches cold press paper
Maple trees in the autumn. What a sight, but don't try to paint them. You can only approach the colors, and details, and can quickly fail at what you "see."
What do I feel when I view them? What "art word" should I be painting?
"Autumn." That's how I feel when I see them. Yes, autumn is a feeling, an emotion, memories, sensations, more than just a drab noun.
So, today's watercolor.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

What did I do this week? Inspiration

@ScottWilliams with my twitter for media students at UCO-MassComm department
See my blog post for my twitter for media class (click here: #clarkclass ) for the story and comments on our first speaker, the dynamic, inspirational Scott Williams.
Retired? Yes, but to much fun to pass up another chance, #clarkclass 12.0 now at the Mass Comm Department at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Colors, "Renaissance"

"The Colors of Renaissance," 10" x 14" watercolor, 140 lb. d'Arches cold press paper
"Renaissance." Much is made of that word in OKC these recent years, as the city has emerged from the doldrums of mediocrity. It is perhaps overused, a little snobby, and blind to the poverty and social diseases infecting the rest of Oklahoma.
But there has been a rebirth of energy and spirit, to where OKC has almost become a city state.
One symbol looms over everything, including the skyline--the Devon tower. It is a constant subject of paintings and photographs.
I guess I had to join the crowd, but was stymied by the need to be somewhat original. It's finally come together in this painting, my first in over a month, as is this post on my blog.
During that time I've been digesting a creative-bending watercolor workshop, trying to meld what I learned with my painting abilities. 
The painting grew in stages. First, I noticed there were not northerly views of the skyline, something I see silhouetted when I drive south of Broadway Extension. Then I had to experiment with photography and composition. Then with color, and failed attempts. Eventually, the skyline and colors came together, but it sat for more days till I fit the sky to the feeling of the rest of the subject.
So this is also a renaissance of watercolor for me, though there is much more to learn and try and fail and succeed.
Thus, "The Colors of Renaissance," which is not architecturally accurate,  not constrained by chamber of commerce sugar sweet PR demands, and hints at the darkness we all know is still there.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Not dead yet, and there will be lots more color in my watercolors

Tom Lynch and I with one of his dynamic watercolors
This will be the only post this month and it's not writers' block--I've shied away from the keyboard, given circumstances, and just not wanting to spend time here.
It's all part of my Do It Yourself Art School. 
It began with five great days in New Braunfels, just north of San Antonio, studying watercolor with the internationally known Tom Lynch. http://www.tomlynch.com/
I've got 47 pages  of notes and many exercises from someone who really knows how to teach. Hosted by the classy New Braunfels Art League, which owns a building and gallery in this Germany town, it was a treat of inspiration, practicality and good German food for this Okie in the midst of 16 Texan artists.
Tom at the head of our "classroom"
Tom's intense 9 to 5 sessions were the equivalent of a three-credit hour upper level course crammed into four days. 
So many stories. So much to learn. So much to paint.
Back home, there was a lull after the storm of ideas and learning, and almost everything I've tried to paint has  been more of a lesson than something to exhibit.
Tom critiquing a student's work, always encouraging, demonstrating
And now, other events will occupy me including continued learning. But I had to post just one thing so the blog would not skip a month. It's been active since May, 2009, though this is the only month since then with just one post. So there is that challenge. 
Next month, more painting, more stories. And the experience will change the way I paint--there will be lots more color in my watercolors.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Exploring the universe

"Aurora," 9 x 12, watercolor, 140 lb. Fabriano Artistiico cold press
Abstract art increasingly attracts my attention, but I don't seem to be able to think or feel that way very often. I suppose that's because there's too much journalist and type A in my personality.
"Big Brother is Watching," 5 x 7
But every once in a while, when I'm stuck, things happen, perhaps out of desperation, or of just a need to play, to explore possibilities.
I want to be able to do more than just paint pretty pictures. 
Yesterday's watercolors are the result, the large one a creation of nature's nighttime palette.
The small one an unintended big eye, perhaps a reflection of this country's slide toward fascism and dictatorship?

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Creative drought relief

"Sunset Storm," 8 x 10, 140 lb. d'Arches cold press
When creativity seems to dry up...drought can be an obscure or ill-defined mood or feeling. And finally, after frustration and dissatisfaction,  relief arrives for different reasons.
To break a drought, you need to get out of your comfort zone, take risks and attempt anything, because what has worked in the past isn't working, hence the drought.
Thus it is for me, today's watercolor, the first I've really been satisfied with in quite a while. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Color in action

"Verb," 5 by 7 #watercolor, 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico cold press paper
Perhaps the most moving force in creation and the universe is the verb. Consider this Spanish translation of John 1:1, more accurate than the English, but you have to know your theology to fully comprende:
"En El Principio, era El Verbo, y El Verbo...."
On a gray rainy day, color stands out, the product of light, of light. Thus yesterday's unicorn, full of color and action and creation.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The freedom of color

"Free Spirit," 5 x 7 watercolor 140 lb Farbriano Artistico

Saturday, August 11, 2018

"Out here there's the sky"--adventures in gray

"50 Shades of Gray," 9 x 12 watercolor, 140 lb. d'Arches cold press paper
How can you not live out here and not be enchanted by the skies? Willa Cather had it correct, and my motto has been "Out here there's the sky."
Today's ever-changing unsettled skies prompted this attempt. For me, it's an adventure in mixing grays--so many ways and tones possible with just a few colors--trying to match some of the tones I see in our clouds, and knowing, somewhere there's a sky like that. 
I'm always trying to figure out ways and colors to obtain some of those wonderful grays. There are about eight different colors used here, and none of them are labeled "Gray." That tube of paint seems dull to what I see overhead.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Desert dreams

"Evening Star," 8 x 10 watercolor, 140 lb. d'Arches cold press paper

Western icon

"Patriarch of the Prairie," 5 x 7 today's watercolor, 140 lb Fabriano Artistico cold press
The almost universal icon of the American West, seen everywhere in sculptures, paintings, highway decorations. Why? For what was and is gone? Or as a symbol of freedom and wildness? Or as a sacred part of the lives of the people who were here first? Or because of majesty and spirit? Don't know.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Watercolor exhibit

My current watercolor exhibit at In Your Eye Studio & Gallery in Paseo.


"Firelight," 5 x 7 watercolor, 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico cold press paper
What is as enchanting as firelight? 
In the coziness of your home near the fireplace at night, or around a campfire in the woods when camping out or in front of a cabin, watching the stars overhead? 
With a loved one, or alone, watching the universes of in each burning log or coals, there's enchantment. Magic.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Adobe and turquoise--magic

Taos Magic, No. 1, 8 x 10, watercolor, 140 lb. d'Arches cold press paper
Taos Pueblo...Centuries of spirits under a sacred mountain in Northern New Mexico, even before it was Mexico or New Spain. 
It draws you like a magnet of magic--loved by artists and photographers who sense it not as a curiosity, but as a place of power, of creativity. Power--Always the light, always the colors, always the people, always....
Adobe and turquoise, magic always changing colors of the earth, reflecting the ever-changing light of the sky and the landscape and people.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Spiritual magnetism--paintings and a story

Magnetism. It's more than a physical property of the scientific and natural world.
There are places and people that can attract, or less often, repel you for that matter, in sometimes unexplainable ways. You know who they have been, who and what they are. You can feel the pull.
Rainwater reflection
me, one of those places has been the remote east faces of the Manzano Mountains in New Mexico, along with its back roads and isolated villages. And one very old little Catholic church building. 
The force of that magnetic field increased this last month, and I succumbed a week ago, headed especially to see the church of San Antonio at the village of Tajique, population 148,  in the Estancia Valley Catholic Parish. I'm guessing it was originally built in the 1830s when this territory was part of Mexico. 
My watercolor, Dad's oil
I know some of the reasons, having spent part of my childhood in those mountains, and because of the pull of back roads, and in this case, because both my Dad and I have painted that church. Two of those paintings hang in our living room, as well as my Dad's sunflower and Manzano peaks painting over our mantel. I see them every day, traveling in my imagination and memories.
You can see I've exaggerated the nearness of the Manzano Mountains in the background, including the pointed Mosca Peak, over 9,000 feet high--the church is at 6,700 feet. I try to paint what I feel, and the magnetism of those mountains is strong.
Most recent, 8 x 10, for friend M.J. VanDeventer
My new photo above is in early morning, 65 degrees, after a thunderstorm captured the place. The parishioners have added a rock exterior and changed the bell tower since I last visited.  But I'm still drawn to the place, and to the fascinating variety of tombstones in the surrounding Campo Santo.
My photo from years ago
I've painted it at least three times, based on memory and photos and its magnetic attraction. One time when I drove by, a wedding was in process, with the newlyweds coming out the front door. 
The last time I took a photo of it, in black and white on a gray day some 30 years ago, it was much plainer. There's nothing plain about it magnetically.
My largest, 22 x 30

The Manzano magnetism of Mosca peak

A month of watercolor painting

Here they are, 32 paintings from July, surpassing the 31 daily challenge from #worldwatercolormonth. 
Some favorites, near the bottom, and some not so favorites. There are 32 because I failed one day's challenge--mountain climbing no less. But, I did two roadrunners and two mermaids, and two unicorns. And atoned for the failure by painting the Truchas peaks on Day 30.
For the record, here are the daily challenges. Can you pick them out?
  • Sunny Days--July sunrise walker
  • Delicious Food--Cezanne apples
  • Primary Colors--brushes
  • Family Moments--fieworkds
  • Shades of blue--ocean
  • Simple things--red wagon
  • Playing games--abstract chess
  • Flying things--witch
  • Climbing mountains--oops
  • Light and luminous--morning light at house
  • Beautiful blooms--not shown, for sale at gallery (Purple creation)
  • Forest animals--Unicorn
  • Fast and loose--Roadrunner
  • Sweet treats--snowcone
  • On the beach--Red bikini
  • Casting shadows--Trump's swastika
  • City life--OKC dawn runner
  • In the jungle—Conrad's Heart of Darnkness
  • Rainy Days--cabin
  • Wet & Dry--Martini
  • Glorious golds--unicorn
  • Under the sea—mermaid
  • Furry creatures—cats
  • Mono mood--blue station
  • Farm life—panhandle elevators
  • Splashing around—sunset surf
  • Clouds in sky--thunderhead
  • Nature hike—man with cane
  • Childhood memory—streetcar
  • Exotic location--Truchas, cabin
  • Celebration of color--creation

"And God created...Color!"--Creation!

"Creation," 8 x 10, 140 lb. d'Arches cold press paper
"Celebration of Color," concluded the #watercolor prompts for the 31 days of July, #Worldwatercolormonth.
Color, the spectrum, light. Genesis. The Big Bang. What you see in a rainbow. No light, no life. Science, faith.
Art is creativity, a child of creation, regardless of beliefs. Do they not all merge together?
Here is what brewed in my head and heart and the primordial soup of creation, for today's #watercolor: The spectrum of color, the spectrum of light, the spectrum of life. 
Celebration, appropriate ending and beginning to 31 days of watercolor.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Red head Magic of mermaids

Red headed magic, 5 x 7 140 lb. Farbriano Artistico cold press paper
Magic? Of course. If you can imagine it, who can say it's not real? One of Neptune's twin daughters, #watercolor, but she needs a name.

Exotic Enchantment

"Enchantment," 5 x 7 140 lb Fabriano Artisitico cold press paer
What do you think of when you hear the term exotic places? Probably a beach on a south Pacific Island?  Me too, but not just there. I could choose the moors of Scotland, or almost anyplace with tall mountains and few people.
There are several definitions to the term exotic, coming from Greek and Latin "exo" meaning "alien, " or "from the outside."
It's used today for plants or anything introduced from another country, or not indigenous; anything strange, different, mysterious, exciting, romantic (how it's meant for this prompt); or having to do with strip tease.
I guess I could have tried to paint an exotic pole dancer, but...
Every person probably has different exotic places in their imaginations and memories, and the Truchas Peaks in northern New Mexico, towering over 13,000 rugged feet into the sky, captivate me. I wish I had the youth and lung capacity to get to the remote top, but that probably isn't going to happen. I  photograph them often as their mood and light always changes. No wonder they're exotic, exceeding all those descriptions.
Then add a cabin near those mountains, a metaphor for exotic to me anytime.