"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.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Room to breathe, on the Great Plains

"Room to Breathe," 11 x 14 watercolor, 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico extra white cold press paper
It's been a difficult week to even breathe in America.
The racist homicide of the Minneapolis man, who couldn't breathe, followed by national and global protests, followed by  senseless violence and vitriol and crime, added to the almost crushing weight of the biologic virus on me, and many.
The anger I feel for the victims of racism and violence, some of whom I know, is compounded by my deepening angst for my country and its future.
As a retired white man in a suburban neighborhood, I can't add anything to the conversation that would be meaningful or significant.
So disturbing has this week been I've not been able to even consider painting. When the pandemic struck, I tried to paint every day, and bring bright color into the world as an antidote. But this virus of cruelty and injustice stalled after my initial reaction and painting a week ago, "Justice." 
Finally, after viewing a program on the Great Plains, I was able to pick up the paintbrushes today and attempt capturing their vastness, their skies.
Why does a painting happen? It's personal, and I realized as I painted in the midst of all this week's ugliness how I needed room, the room of those wide open spaces.
Perhaps it isn't a time for cheerful colors, but definitely a time for much needed peace.
As I searched for a title, nothing seemed to quite fit. Then it did.

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