"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, August 11, 2019

Beside still waters...

"Beside still waters," 8 1/2" x 11 1/2" 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico cold press paper
I love, and crave peaceful waters, unruffled by breezes or storms or turmoil. More and more. What a metaphor for the violent country and world we live in.
Reminded me of a photo I took long ago, of my boys Vance and Travis, fishing at what was Hastings Lake in Jefferson county Oklahoma, to go with my newspaper story on the town's water crisis. I'm not a fisherman, but both Vance, and now Travis, understand the allure and peace that comes from fishing.
Vance and Travis, "beside still waters," Hastings, OK.
After traveling some little trafficked roads today in western OKC, including around Lake Overholser, I knew what I wanted to try to paint.
It also got me to thinking about some verses in the Old Testament. I think David knew about the need for breathing in the calmness of still water when violence is everywhere.  Is America the "valley of death"?
And then I thought of  words from the prophets Jeremiah an Ezekiel, which read like letters to Americans after these mass killings.
You decide. Meanwhile, here's today's painting, with homage to Ron Ranson, who I studied watercolor with in 2006 in Taos. This one-eye Brit died at age 93 in 2017. 
I have one of his paintings hanging in my studio. He taught me much, and I was thumbing through his books today, looking for an approach to painting calm water. I found it.He did all his work with just three brushes. I'm not there yet, but. 
My 16 x 20 watercolor by Ron Ranson

Oh, scriptures:

Psalm 23, 1-4 -- "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name sake.
Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for though are with me."
Jeremiah 6:14 -- "They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. 'Peace, peace,' they say, where there is no peace. 
Ezekiel 13:10 -- "Because they lead my people astray, saying, 'Peace,' when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash."

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