"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.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Turquoise thoughts

"Turquoise Universe" 7 x 8 watercolor, on our front door turquoise bench
When you need to transcend the ordinary, the drudgery of a life burdened with chaos, I recommend color, especially turquoise.
No matter the shade or the "purity," the blue-green gem has powers recognized for centuries. I didn't know that growing up in New Mexico, where I saw a lot of that color, but now I'm more aware of it than ever.
I'm no new-ager, but there is a calming power  in its presence. My wedding ring, silver and turquoise from Santo Domino Pueblo inn New Mexico is one instance. Another is the silver and turquoise bolo tie of my Dad's that hangs around my rear view mirror. Another is the color of our front door. 
As an aspiring watercolorist, I've found that color heals, and especially turquoise.
Why? I takes me back to New Mexico where it is the color of the doors and windows and jewelry of the Spanish and Native Americans. But there reverence is a recent as those of us gringos.
First mined as a gem in Persia, long before Christ, it became a royal color of the Egyptians. When it spread to Europe, it acquired the French name, turquoise, because of the Turks. And the Spaniards who invaded North America brought that color because of the influence of the Moors in North Africa and Spain...as well as many of their words.
No matter. In the sun, in the southwest air, against adobe, set against silver or the cobalt blue intense sky, it has power for peace and beauty and ages beyond the present.
In the midst of human and viral contagion, we need it. Thus today's watercolor.

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