"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.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

The Old Ones

"The Old Ones at Sunset," 8 x 10 acrylic on canvas panel

That's been on my mind more than I realized, as another year nears end and another birthday looms.

Looking back last night after I finished the last of the seven books I've read in the past two months, it dawned on me that three of them were in some ways about that theme.

I finished rereading Larry McMurtry's "Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen," one signed by him that I bought 22 years ago. He died this past year, and that book is about his thoughts on aging.

Before that, I picked up our copy of Norman Maclean's "A River Runs Through It," and reread that for the first time in years. "I am haunted by the waters," the old man closes the book.

The other book was by a doctor, on helping people as they age, "Being Mortal," recommended by my son-in-law Todd Bell, himself a doctor.

Yesterday, after a walk in Hafer Park and talking with my favorite old tree, I picked up my acrylic paints, palette knives and brushes headed to the back porch, obviously thinking about aging.

The result is pretty rough, but that seems fitting texture for the bark and wrinkles, as I tried something new, palette knives first, then brushes. 

 I call it "The Old Ones at Sunset. I suppose  if you're being snarky, thinking about me, you could call it "Portrait of the Old Tree Hugger." If you were sarcastic, you could simply call it, "The Golden Years."

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