"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, February 23, 2020

August in Jefferson County, Red River Valley--Study in brown

"August in Jefferson County, Red River Valley." 5 x 7 watercolor, Fabriano Artistico cold press paper
Six months from now...late August, the season of dry heat.
Especially in southwestern Oklahoma, along the banks of the Red River where a month of 100 degree days turn the landscape, even the trees, and the skies, brown.
Called the Red River because it carries so much silt, it's really more brown, like its surroundings.
There's more sand than water, and you can literally walk across the several shallow channels, now just  trickles compared to the force of flood stage that has taken out highway bridges.
Long ago, some. of us, fathers and children from a church in Waurika, camped out on those sandy shores. We ran trot lines to catch catfish, built a campfire, ate hot dogs, joked, watched the stars through the dusty skies, heard the night sounds and the gentle ripple of water. There was sand in everything that night, and the next morning.
Today's watercolor, a study in browns, in earth colors, which are really mixes of red and yellow comes from those memories of that river, those days.
(This is the third of color studies--can you figure out what two characteristics are common to all three?)
Study in green, "When vegetation rioted..."

Study in purple, "Coming home to roost."

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