"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, March 7, 2021

Traveling Santa Fe Dreams

El Catedral Basilica de San Francisco de Asis, 5 x 7 watercolor card

In these confined times, travel of any kind is more than welcome, whether via TV travel videos, books, old photos, or even dreams and memories.

Watching one travel video of New England last night, hoping to plan a trip there, it made two factual errors. Second one was this phrase, "Harvard, one of the oldest universities in America." WRONG: The Oldest, 1636.

But the one that first caught my attention, and helped spur today's watercolor, was the comment  that the Pilgrims established the first European settlement in America in 1620. WRONG on three counts. Vikings, about 1000. Jamestown, 1607. And Santa Fe, the capital of Spanish New Mexico, 1610.

Ok, I'm a nerd, but it matters. 

Thus my imagination traveled today, from memories, and thus today's little watercolor greeting card, done quickly from memory, blurred by memories, even if I can't visit again in person yet.

El Catedral Basilica de San Francisco de Asis en El Villa Real de Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asis, en Nuevo Mexico.

Friday, March 5, 2021

That Lonesome road

"Look down that lonesome road," 5 x 7 watercolor, 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico cold press paper

Long
ago I heard a song that seemed to draw me to faraway places, "Look Down that Lonesome Road."

 Years later, it's no wonder I love back roads, less traveled roads, sparsely settled, free of traffic, roads that beckon you, speak of discovery around the next bend or over the hill, especially in New Mexico, Oklahoma or Texas where there are plenty of wide-open spaces

I looked up the song and found it is a 1927  with music by Nathaniel Shilkret and lyrics by Gene Austin, written in the style of an African-American spiritual. 

Thus today's little watercolor, the first of March, after an earlier failure where I was too uptight to be traveling that road. 

Here are two you tube. links to the song, if you wish to add some music to the watercolor..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzgKyDLSUdc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMbNkyTCTG8


Sunday, February 28, 2021

February slideshow--story of a year of watercolors


February Slide Show--turn on volume
This month's 12 watercolors close out a year of paintings during the pandemic pandemonium that descended on us in mid-March, a year ago. 
Trying to learn and survive the unknown, wondering in a daily journal of the plague year, I turned to trying to bring some color into my life and by sharing, to others with art to offset the gloom.
So this month's watercolors --I just noticed that most of them reflect my yearning to start traveling again--bring to 270 completed in this past 12 months. I'm amazed, and thankful, and blessed. 
Some are pretty good, a few are very good, many are just so-so, and others, not so much. But, I pushed myself, took on ideas and subjects I hadn't attempted, and had fun, and therapy. 
When working on art, the rest of the world goes away, and I, and we needed that between the viruses of pandemic, political insanity, racism, hatred and everything else, including violent weather.
I also learned how to put together slide shows of my work, for this blog, and on social media, such as this one today.
The total number of watercolors rescued and  changed my 2020 blog to a record number of posts, the third highest in its eleven years. They also pushed my imagination for subjects, and my writing, as I attempted to pair each painting with almost thoughtful mini-essays.
My annual holiday greeting card tradition boosted the total, with 38 posts in December. Most of last year's watercolors were 5 x 7s, especially in December and in April through July when I was attempting a painting a day, requiring quick work. But many are 8 x 10s as in February--all 8 x 10s except one greeting card, which is dated,  and a few larger.
The first slide show, of 18 March paintings, didn't get online until September. Here's that link if you wish to look back a year. March, 2020 Watercolors, as I caught up. 
Here are the other totals and links, if you wish to travel back in time

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Remembering When

"Remembering When," 8 x 10 watercolor, 300 lb. d'Arches rough press paper

Special
places bring back special times, special people, even as the years pass.

"You can't go home again," except in your memory, but sometimes you can visit them, as you age. They can resurrect smiles and tears, and memories long shelved away. As autumn approaches, you're not the same person as then, but then again, you still are. 

That's the story behind today's second watercolor, thinking of those times, places, people, memories. 

Looking for Green

"Looking for Green," 8 x 10 watercolor, 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico fough press paper

                          
The snow has melted. The temperatures rise and fall. The skies change from cloudy to sunny or in between. The ground thaws, with patches of green amid the browns. 

We're among all creatures  looking for spring, especially this year, after a year-long winter of pandemic.

Today's watercolor, with at least visions of trees with green foliage on the prairies of Oklahoma.