"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.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Splintered year, and paintings of a year

"Splintered Year," 8 x 10 brushless watercolor, 140 lb Canson cold press

 The brush pile from the October ice storm----splintered trunks,  twisted branches, decaying leaves--still looms in our front yard, and will probably for at least another month, as it will all over Edmond.

It seems an apt metaphor for 2020  around the world, and especially in America, as I close out this year in painting.  The pandemics of disease, outright hatred and violence, intolerance, fear, and political chaos  from a wanna-be dictator have splintered this country more than ever, since the Civil War.

Today's watercolor, 8 x 10, closes out a prolific  year for my painting, which for me at least has been something positive out of the mess we're in. I think this painting is probably about 244 of those attempted since January. 

"Dance," a 3 1/2 x 5 favorite from July, teenage memories
Most have been small, most haven't been very good--and that doesn't include the many attempts I consider failures--but they've all helped me cope and survive quarantine, stress, worries and the splinters of this country. And they don't include numerous sketches.

The number of paintings has certainly been boosted by about a little more than 100 greeting cards during the holidays and for special occasions. 

There has been a lot of experimenting on my part--including painting with sponges--as with today's. I've developed monthly slide shows. I've read and watched videos from watercolor masters, and tried to adapt. 

January had the fewest paintings, five. December, the most at 39, followed by July (World Watercolor Month) with 32, and April at 31. These were days when I was determined, almost daily, to bring some light and color and joy into the world to offset the darkness.

I hope they helped. They did me...including today's.

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