"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.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Gloom, and Hope

'Gloom, and Hope," 8 x 10 watercolor, 140 lb. d'Arches rough press paper

The gloom of late November has set in, yet...

My mood deepened as the gray skies and weather ended beautiful sunlit days, seeming to fit the deepening gloom of  personal issues, the out-of-control pandemics of disease, racism, threats of violence and a petulant president.

Having completed my annual Christmas card projects, gloom found me unable to pick up a paintbrush, because I couldn't think of what I wanted to paint what I felt. 

Two desperation attempts were disasters--they were not how I felt, or had a story to tell.

"What do you feel," asked Susan, and I responded gloomy, to match the weather, the times. "Then paint gloomy weather," she answered. 

Once I would have blamed the muse for leaving, but I know better now. If you want the muse  to help, just start work.

As this idea came together from an early try at "happy" colors, the rainy, gloomy November day became a journey. There is gloom indeed, but there is also hope as the holidays come, as change comes to the nation.

I have also been experimenting with rough press paper, rather than cold, and found the extra texture intimidating to begin with. But today, it worked, adding impressionist touches, the first larger watercolor I've been satisfied with in quite a while.

Which means, in spite of the gloom, there is also hope. I think the painting tells that story, rain, gloom, but hope in the window.

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