"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 15, 2020

Purple Dawn on the Great Plains

"Purple Dawn on the Great Plains," 8 x 10 watercolor, 140 lb. d'Arches cold press paper
The lure of open spaces, the far horizons beckon me to travel, in person, in memories and imagination.
The Great Plains have imprinted me with their spirit, enhancing the power and pull of distant mesas and mountains.
I love the silence, the lack of traffic and people, of wandering across them, wondering where back roads go, what's around the next bend or over the next rise.
They are not empty, but overflowing with stories. I'm currently reading the journals of Lewis and Clark and captivated by their wonder and experiences in America's undiscovered country just 215 years ago.
W. Swanwick's New Mexico photo
Today's watercolor was inspired by a recent photo on Instagram by William Swanwick of New Mexico, who captures the spirit of that state, and certainly the open country between, and before, mountains. I hope the painting also captures some of that unequalled aura.
It's also no accident that the painting is also in tune with the photo at the top of this blog, which I took a few years ago. I was crossing the ruts of the mythic Santa Fe Trail, east of Cimarron, very early one September morning.
And it's no accident that another inspiration, comes from the Sons of the Pioneers theme song for the 1960s TV Western, "Wagon Train":
"Dawn spreads its paint brush on the plains, spilling purple upon...."
Notice all the purple in this painting.
My blog photo, looking northeast on the old Santa Fe Trail


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