"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, June 6, 2021

Don't take my Kodachrome away

"Kodachrome," 8 x 10ish watercolor, 300 lb. d'Arches rough press paper

there are blahs, or whatever other names there are, we need bright colors

That was certainly true during this past year and a half of  pandemics  of violence, disease, death and dangers to democracy.

It still is now for many thousands around the world for nations. And as the search for "normal" weighs down the days, also for individuals trying to cope with untold emotions

A favorite song comes to my mind, harking back to the turmoil of the Vietnam years.

"They give us those nice bright colors,

Give us the greens of summers

Makes you  think all the world's a sunny day, oh yeah...

So mama, don't take my Kodachrome away."

--Simon and Garfunkel

Thus today's watercolor, the first in a while, trying to escape the blahs.


Monday, May 31, 2021

Untold Memorial Day stories

One of my favorite cemeteries is Oakwood, at the end of 15th Street in Edmond, just before you get to Arcadia Lake.

It's a Territorial cemetery, with graves from the 1890s, and families still care for it, with burials continuing today.

I go out there often to think, to imagine the stories, many untold for three  main reasons. There are numerous veterans' graves, dating from Civil War vets to the present. There are numerous infant graves, attesting to the harsh life of early days. In addition, there are many other unique stones. I've written and photographed and painted there many times. You can search Oakwood on this blog and seem some of those earlier efforts.

I went out there today, in the rain, for the mood, and took this photo...a marker of untold stories.

I took this photo today because it caught my mood. J.J. Henager, who served in Company F, in the 39th Iowa Infantry, fighting to preserve the Union in the Civil War.

Surviving, he somehow, at some time, came to Oklahoma Territory probably to homestead. I wish there were dates, and I knew more. I'm thankful the cemetery  volunteers put flags on all the veteran graves today.

Earlier stories on Oakwood:




His Infantry record, from Wikipedia:


The 39th Iowa Infantry was organized at Des Moines and DavenportIowa and mustered in for three years of Federal service on November 24, 1862.

Attached to 3rd Brigade, District of Corinth, 17th Army Corps, Dept. of Tennessee, to January, 1863. 3rd Brigade, District of Corinth, 16th Army Corps, to March, 1863. 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 16th Army Corps, to September, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 4th Division, 15th Army Corps, to August, 1865.

Moved to Cairo, Ill., December 12–14, 1862; thence to Columbus, Ky., December 16. Defense of Jackson, Tenn., and pursuit of Forrest December 18, 1862, to January 3, 1863. Parker's Cross Roads December 30–31, 1862.

Moved to Corinth, Miss., January 6, 1863, and duty there until November, 1863. Dodge's Expedition into Northern Alabama April 15-May 8. Great Bear Creek and Cherokee Station April 17. Tuscumbia April 22–23. Town Creek April 28.

March to Pulaski, Tenn., November 2–12, 1963. Guard duty at Reynolds Station and along railroad until January 21, 1864, and at Pulaski until March 12.

Moved to Athens, Ala., March 12, and to Chattanooga, Tenn., April 30, 1864.

Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign May 1 to September 8, 1864. Demonstration on Resaca May 8–13. Snake Creek Gap and Sugar Valley May 9–10. Battle of Resaca May 13–14. Ley's Ferry, Oostenaula River, May 14–15. Rome Cross Roads May 16. Kingston May 19. Moved to Rome May 22 and duty there until August 15. Expeditions after Wheeler August 15-September 16. Moved to Allatoona October 4. Battle of Allatoona October 5.

Moved to Rome October 9, 1864. Reconnaissance and skirmishes on Gave Springs Road October 12–13. Etowah River October 13.

March to the Sea November 15-December 10, 1864. Ogeechee Canal December 9. Siege of Savannah December 10–21.

Campaign of the Carolinas January to April, 1865. Salkehatchie Swamps, S.C. February 3–5. South Edisto River February 9. North Edisto River February 12–13. Columbia February 15–17. Lynch's Creek February 25–26. Battle of Bentonville N. C., March 20–21. Occupation of Goldsboro March 24 Advance on Raleigh April 9–13. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett's House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army.

March to Washington, D.C. via Richmond, Va., April 29-May 30, 1865. Grand Review May 24. Moved to Louisville, Ky., June.

The regiment was mustered out on August 2, 1865.

Total strength and casualties

A total of 1064 men served in the 39th Iowa at one time or another during its existence.[1] It suffered 6 officers and 58 enlisted men who were killed in action or who died of their wounds and 2 officers and 134 enlisted men who died of disease, for a total of 200 fatalities.[2]

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Real Patriots

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

If you know me, you know I love walking through cemeteries, especially attracted to veterans graves, adorned with American flags on days like this.

There are so many untold stories, so many memories in such places. 

Here's a salute to those who served, real patriots who put their lives, not their empty words,  on the line for our freedoms. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

The moods of rain

"Rainy Day<' 5 x 7 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico rough press 

I heard Willie Nelson's plaintive voice singing "Blue eyes crying the the rain."

Rain brings many moods, and memories of as many songs to me. And the Bible is full of references to life-giving rain.

As the skies clouded up again today, with more rain promised, several of them ran though my head, some romantic,  some nostalgic, a few happy, and many more sad.

When you grow up in the arid southwest, you always notice rain, and look forward to the building clouds and rain of the early fall monsoon season. Those too bring memories and moods.

Much of the country has had too much or too little rain this year. Here in Oklahoma, on the eastern Great Plains, I'm thankful for the cooler temperatures, and abundant rainfall...and the multiple memories.

Today's little watercolor, out of response to those memories and moods.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

How time slips away

"How time slips away," 5 x 7 watercolor 300 lb d'Arhecs rough press

it funny how time slips away" is one of my favorite songs, especially sung by Willie Nelson.

"It's been a long, long time" pretty well sums up life's journey, more so as I get older, and the emotion of times past, of living, of loss seem to especially fit his voice.

Many things bring it to my mind these days, especially for some reason on Sundays. Today, just sitting on the back porch, slight drizzle, moving clouds, bird song,  changing  greenery..."as time slips away." I also thought of Thomas Wolfe's novel, "Of Time and the River." 

What about today will you remember? Did you enjoy the present moments? 

Today's semi-abstract watercolor has been in my imagination for a while, and it just seemed to pour out, "as time slips away.