"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 4, 2019

Far off

"Far off," 9 x 12, watercolor, 140 lb, Fabriano Artistico cold press paper
Today's watercolor is inspired by our recent trip to southern New Mexico, land of far horizons, where you can see "far off.
We don't see much "far off" these days, in our speedometer-ridden lives, because we're in too much of a hurry to look.  And it's harder to see far off when you get into cities, or the treed and hilly country at the east edge of the Great Plains.
Jesus built the parable of the prodigal son around a father who saw his returning son, "a far off," which means he'd been looking a long time. 
When I get to western Oklahoma and keep going, even on the flat Llano Estacado of West Texas, I enjoy silence and looking, a far off.
While there last week with Susan's sister and brother-in-law, Sara and Perry Kaufman, were were fortunate  to tour the gallery of famous artist Peter Hurd, and his son Michael, a few miles down the hill from Ruidoso. 
I've long admired Hurd's work for its grasp and portrayal of the vast open landscapes where you can see far off. Highlight was actually meeting and chatting with his son Michael, about his work in watercolor and oils, capturing that country's spirit. 
From what I saw on the trip, and the Hurd paintings, and our talks, and after battling with both oils and acrylics for days, it's a pleasure to return to watercolor.

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