"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Christ-Mass Eve, Holy Ground

"Holy Ground, Holy Night,"--Santa Fe, Christmas Eve,  5 x 7 watercolor card
Christ-Mass Eve, there are holy places and times in the universe, and in Northern New Mexico the Franciscan churches draw the faithful to  of mass Christmas eve, in the cold brisk mountain and desert air.
Inside there is warmth and ceremony and tradition, symbolized by an icon in La Villa Real de Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asis--El Catedral Basilica de San Francisco de Asis. (The Spanish version of the name is more appropriate for me in this city founded in 1610.)
Built in the 1800s by Archbishop Lamy, whose statue stands in front, and the subject of Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop, the church draws visitors year around, from around the world.
Jerry and I, and his painting, 2015
But especially this season, and Holy Week before Easter, is when it shines as the testament to the residents' faith, with all the liturgy of an ancient mass. 
And it is an icon, a landmark just east of the historic Plaza,  to anyone who loves New Mexico, even non-Catholics.
I've written about it before, and tried painting it several times, including a large one commissioned by my brother Jerry for his home in Lubbock.
This year's card is a rough rendition, sent to faithful Catholic friends in Santa Fe.
You can read an earlier post from 2012 and painting attempt on this link: "Exploring Creativity."

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