"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, September 4, 2020

Faith and power in the New Mexico earth

"Santuario in the snow," 8 x 10 watercolor, 140 lb Fabriano Artistico extra white cold press paper
Have you been to El Santuario de Chimayo in northern New Mexico? Have you touched the Holy dirt?
Though a relatively short drive from Santa Fe, in many ways it's a trek  back in time where you can witness, and experience a faith that defies modern science. It is a place of power.
Hundreds of pilgrims trek there every holy week, seeking forgiveness and healing, and more than 300,000 visit the shrine every year. 
You don't have to believe, but you will be stunned into hushed silence by the evidence of crutches and rosaries and more hanging on the walls in the little prayer room next to the little "pocido" room. 
Holy dirt from Chimayo, and a bear fetish from a Jemez Pueblo artist
There you can scoop the holy dirt out of the small hole in the floor. The chapel was built in 1814-1816 after a local farmer witnessed a miracle there. 
I have some in an antique bottle right in front of my computer from a trip years ago. We go every time we're in New Mexico, also to buy the excellent red chili powder from a local farmer.
All of that is just to give perspective  to today's watercolor, of the Santuario in the snow. This isn't the first time I've painted it, or written about it. But today's was commissioned after a person saw an earlier version and said,"That speaks to me."
It speaks to me too, so here it is, watercolor, with a touch of white acrylic for snow flakes.
Here are two previous blog posts on the Shrine 

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