"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.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Stories in strata

Strata's Stories, 8 x 10 watercolor, 300 lb. d'Arches cold-press paper
Strata makes me happy. I love the Southwest and New Mexico where you can see so many relatively raw geologic land forms and the strata that compose them, rather than the softer landscapes molded by moisture and often hidden by vegetation.
Strata tells so many stories, indicates so much history and pre-history, prompts the imagination, reminds you of how brief our lives are against the span of eons of creation.  
The more strata, the more interesting the shapes, the older the landforms, and wider diversity of colors. 
What a metaphor for our lives. We all build up strata, and have it eroded, through the years, different levels and colors, molded by travels, experiences, locations, people, memories.
I've always been captivated, and been challenged by the great paintings of masters like Charlie Russell and others who often used this contrast of sunlight and shadow to make paintings jump off  the canvas. 
I wanted to experiment with the shapes and colors of day's end--an aging day against aging rocks--another metaphor indeed. Varied strata fascinates me, always catches my attention with its beauty, making me happy. First attempt.
(Daily #worldwatercolorgroup January paint happy things challenge.)

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