"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, October 21, 2020

Let there be color


"Let there be color," 5 x 7 watercolor holiday card

need light more than ever, especially as the country suffers a year, a season of darkness of pandemic, racism, political chaos--and the physical season of darkness  approaches.

It dawned on me this year--no pun intended--as I continue to try to learn watercolors, that the command "Let there be light" in Genesis can be translated, "Let there be color." No light, no life...yes. But no light, no color either.

So as I begin my tradition of painting holiday cards, seeking originality in ideas, subjects and techniques, I'm experimenting more with color. What makes watercolor really sing, and what I struggle with, is its transparency, letting light through. Mine are too often too dark and opaque. 

Winter may be a season of darkness, but there is abundant color there too if you look, and there is abundant color in our world and in people despite the darkness of pandemics and more.

One of the examples I know would be the "Northern Lights," Aurora Borealis, that I've only seen once or twice when we lived in Iowa, but they inspired me today in these seasons of darkness, even though we're too far south to see them.

Today's watercolor may have too much darkness, but the light of colors helps rescue the efford.

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