"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, March 30, 2023

Believing in myths and magic

"Magic," 4 x 4 acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas

, Mystical creatures.  We live in a world not just of science and facts and human egos, but of the unexplained, the believed, the hoped for.

Of the mythical creatures we've conjured up or seen or dreamed of, the two most likely are dragons and unicorns, with perhaps mermaids third. They are real however in the sense they are products of human imagination and dreams, or fears or experience.

So here are two testaments to myths and magic, today's paintings.

"Passion," 4 x 4 acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas

next week at April 6   opening of Edmond Vibes at TheVault405, and thereafter at InYourEyeStudioand Gallery in  PaseoArts District.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

I heard the owl call my name

      "The Hunter,," 6 x 6 acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas

have called my name.

 There's an old Northwest Native American  legend that if you hear an owl call your name, get ready to die. There's a wonderful book by that title about a missionary to the Northwest  who that happens to.

For me, though, the sound of an owl is life-giving.  Maybe they weren't calling my name?

Most recently, I heard what I thought was an owl on an afternoon walk in Hafer park. I hope it was not a person's fake technology.

More importantly to me now that ever is try daughter Falls Bell's Burrowing Owl Bookstores in Canyon and Amarillo, where you can find dozens, literally, of different owl images and c creations, and of course, books.

Before that though, I loved the sound of owls when camping out, or in even Oklahoma City, hearing them outside the window with my love.

I've read about them many times, about their sounds, their biologics, their behaviors, their interactions with us...always remind us that they are creatures of prey, of wonderment, of questions.

Thus today's acrylic, at Edmond Vibes next Thursday and thereafter at In Your Eye Studio and Gallery. 

Have you heard them call your name?

Thursday, March 23, 2023

From horror to hope

"Easter Dawn," 5 x 5 acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas, palette knives

there's an eternal message about the Easter story, whether you're a Christian or not, centers on humanity's hope, after the horrors of inhumanity. 

After all  the horrors of Roman crucifixion, of humans' constant cruelty,  in war  and crime, to other humans, to other living things, to all of creation--hope somehow survives, hope in life here and after death. Eternity is always present. 

Thus today's painting, rough textured for the horror, light for the hope, just  for Easter. Available soon at Edmond Vibes, April 6 at The Vault, and thereafter at In Your Eye Studio and Gallery in Paseo Arts District.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

The texture of "faith"

"Faith," 5 x 5 acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas, palette knives only

grew up believing faith was what I was told it was, what I was taught. It was a definition, supported by  scriptures in various ways and and those you agreed with.

That was perhaps fine in youth and early adulthood, but it seemed to easy, especially when you studied the people of the Scriptures, learned stories of what the "faithful" of all beliefs endured through the centuries. 

I'm a slow learner, it's taken decades of questions and doubts and reading and failures and lessons and  fewer answers and living through ups and downs to even write this.

I don't pretend to define the word--I'm not sure that is possible. There are metaphors and comparisons and examples of those who are and were people of faith. 

But after I finished my morning reading today, I could say that faith has texture, texture acquired in a journey, experienced by living in the face of eternity. That's vague, I know.  It's only my description, not an answer or definition, and not peculiar to any belief. That's difficult for us Americans, used to being in control and children of exact answers in a computer age of science.

Another--universal and not just religious--description, not a definition, is in  Hebrews 1:1 "...faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen."

Thus today's painting, using only a palette knife to add physical texture to my attempt. Available Edmond Vibes, at The Vault April 6, and thereafter at  In Your Eye Studio and Gallery in Paseo Arts District.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

American Spirit?


"Bison skull," 5 x 5 acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas

Looking for a title. Sometimes paintings choose their own titles. Other times I know when I begin, or after I'm well on my way. But some paintings  stare back at me, literally in this case.

So is this one. Sources of inspiration for this bison skull come from many sources, but not a name. Best I can come up with is AmericanSpirit or American Ghost...but they don't seem to fit.

Suggestions? Email me. Soon to be at Edmond Vibes, at The Vault April 6, and thereafter at  In Your Eye Studio and Gallery in Paseo.

Where you can see eternity

"Forever," 12 x 12 acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas

"The prairie skies can always make you see more than what you believe."                                                           --Jackson Burnett, The Past Never Ends

"Out here there's the sky." That is my axiom as an artist, an adaption of Willa Cather's famous lines in Death Comes for the Archbishop. You can't grow up and live on the edges of the Great Plains,  or in them, and not know how they dominate and create the character of the vast land and its temporary residents.

It seems this is where you can see eternity...stretching and beckoning  beyond horizons on earth and atmosphere.  Always asking questions. What is beyond? Are humans really significant? Sky determines.

This week's painting tries to capture that magnitude of the  expanses in our existence. Thanks to friends who advised me on the skies of the painting. It took a week of mulling over possibilities to finish it.

Soon to be at Edmond Vibes, at The Vault April 6, and thereafter at  In Your Eye Studio and Gallery in Paseo.

"Elsewhere the sky is the roof of the world,                                                                                                            but here the earth was the floor of the sky." --Willa Cather

Monday, March 6, 2023


"Tomorrow," 12 x 12 acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas, palette knives only

"...Tomorrow is today's dream." --Khalil Gibran

"Do not be anxious about tomorrow...." Jesus

Dreams. Tomorrow. Today. Yesterday. In eternity, there is no tomorrow, no past, no time. Like dreams.

This week's acrylic, when time went away with paint and canvas and palette knives.

Soon, at In Your Eye Studio and Gallery in Paseo Arts District.