"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, July 23, 2010

Land of Enchantment--watercolor

6" by 9" watercolor, Strathmore Imperial 300# paper

The conquistadors came into the Southwest from Mexico in 1540, Coronado looking for  Cibola, the legendary Seven Cities of Gold. What they found shining gold in the evening sun were the pueblo adobes along El Rio Grande in what is now Nuevo Mexico. They also brought the Catholic faith of the followers of San Fransico de Assis, and by 1610 had founded the capital of Del Norte at La Villa de Santa Fe de San Francisco de Assis--the city of the holy faith of Saint Francis.

The Indians kept telling about gold over the horizon at "Quivera.".
Coronado kept going east, even into Oklahoma and Kansas looking for Quivera and found more Indians and no gold.  The conquistadors are long gone. The golden land remains.


  1. My wife looks over your paintings sometimes. She offered to trade tips on oil if you've got some advice about watercolor. :)

  2. Love the watercolour and the history. Thank you..:)

  3. You have a way with the brush to go with your skills with a pen (keyboard?)

    I've always loved he word Cibola. There are lots of ways to slice and dice people but in NM there are those who accent the first syllable and those who accent the second. I'm a first syllable person, for good or bad.

  4. Alan,

    Yes, who knows how to pronounce it for sure...it's such a word of mystery. Perhaps like Yahweh?

    You know the New Mexico state question don't you? Red or Green? I know you know the answers, but those who don't know what they're referring to ain't New Mexicans.

    I prefer green, but sometimes say "Both," and reach for water.

  5. Thanks Aussie. We have much in common--deserts and aboriginal peoples who are deeper than most white immigrants.


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