"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.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Where the pavement ends--stories and paintings

"Morning in Ocate," 11 x 15 watercolor, 300 lb. d'Arches cold press paper
I love unpaved roads, especially remote state highways that are still just gravel, or dirt. They beckon with discovery and stories, and paintings.
Six years ago, this Labor Day weekend, I found one on a New Mexico map, and set out, leaving I-40 at Endee just across the state line, onto the back roads of little traffic and wide open spaces.
Unpaved NM 120, the smooth part in the Sangre de Cristos
Heading for 17 miles of unpaved state highway, NM 120,  in the Sangre de Cristo mountains south of Angel Fire. Some of it was well maintained. Other portions were barely two rocky ruts in dense forest.
Where the pavement ends, I found the community of Ocate, on the mountain branch of the old Santa Fe trail, with an old adobe with colorful rusting tin roof that just begged to be painted. 
It must be an old store, and I've tried painting it several times. I'm still not satisfied, in doing justice to that beautiful roof, but this is the latest version--painted this time with more color, more freedom and without looking at the photo. I'm happier with the roof, but it, like the unpaved highways continues to beckon.
There are two other unpaved stretches state highways I've traveled in New Mexico...NM450 west of Kenton, Oklahoma, and NM 112, through the Jicarilla Apache reservation south of El Vado Lake.
I have found others that need to be traveled, mostly in the southwestern part of the state. 
In the meantime, I'll settle for memories and watercolors. Also, here's the 3 x 4 preliminary value sketch. I chose yellow-orange, blue green and  blue violet for a triad from the color wheel for color harmony.
If you care to travel those back roads, search "back roads journal" on this blog. Here are the link to two of them, and the first painting in Ocate, from six years ago.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.