"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, July 19, 2020

The scent of enchantment

"Enchanted Piñon," 5 x 7, 140 lb, Fabriano artistico extra white cold press paper
How do you paint a representation, an image of a scent?
Today's #WorldWatercolorMonth was "Favorite Scent."
We all have favorite scents, usually bringing instantly to mind special memories  or places of  a person's perfume. Some of mine are new cut hay, pipe tobacco, and the smell of ink and paper in a letterpress print shop.
But one  is more powerful than any other. When I smell that fragrance, I'm instantly transported back to the crisp air and skies of New Mexico.
Piñon. I have to settled these days for a piñon wood fire in the chiminea on the back porch--in fact, I just convinced myself to do that tonight. 
But you also get more than a whiff, in fact saturation, traveling  through the high desert air where the trees abound.
It's the New Mexico state tree, and valued for more than just firewood...by humans and birds and animals. I love the tree also for its gnarly and twisted trunks...by most standards not a tree of beauty...but to me, one of the great textures of the southwest, and age.
New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment, and to me, piñon  is the scent of enchantment.

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