"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, August 8, 2021

The Season of Green

"Season of Green," 5 x 7 watercolor, 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico cold press paper

"Green Leaves of Summer," 5 x 7 watercolor, 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico cold press paper

 Greens
are not my favorite color, but...

Don't know why. Only one room in our house has green walls, a muted green at that.

It's odd, since I grew up in the arid Southwest, in New Mexico, you'd think green would matter more to me.

Yes, green stands out in that landscape, because green occurs where there's moisture, water, source of life. But then, so is green.

I am attracted to all shades of turquoise, including the green, but blues are my favs, as you can tell from most of my paintings. There are five blues on my palette, and I rarely have any greens, because you can mix almost any green with yellows and blues.

But as August deepens, and the heat will soon turn much of our landscapes a brown, I was thinking of that favorite song, them of the movie, The Alamo, "The Green Leaves of Summer."

Another connection especially for us Okies is the song "Green Grow the Lilacs." While on a fellowship in France in the late 1920s, Lynn Riggs wrote the play "Green Grow the Lilacs." It provided the basis from which Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II created the musical "Oklahoma!" Riggs was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1948.

I remember long ago, heading south from Iowa in the spring, we could see the country getting green and greener the further we went. Springtime, then summer, the season of green.

Much of our country, and parts of the world,  is burning up, literally already, and green is disappearing.

It's no wonder that green is a symbol of life, of spring, of rebirth. We should all be concerned too, about deforestation...especially in the Amazon. Green represents the lungs of the planet. No green, no oxygen. The Amazon produces 25 percent of the oxygen on earth, and if it is destroyed, as is happening, which 25 percent of humans will suffocate?

It's another reason I love that passage by Joseph Conrad in Heart of Darkness, where he is going up the Congo in the middle of the jungle:

"Going up that river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted on the the earth and the big trees were king. An empty stream, a great silence, an impenetrable forest."

So here are two watercolors for today, color studies in green, one with green colors from five tubes and two yellows, and the other five blues  and two yellows,



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