Out running this morning, I was contemplating what sort of consciousness trees, rocks, mountains, and streams possess. I've no doubt they do. Many ancient and contemporary thinkers have taken this one on. I recently read that contemporary physics has now figured out that rocks have consciousness. Mountains are aggregates of rocks. Every mountain seems to have a personality and consciousness of its own. Yesterday, I was grieving for mountains that are subject to the corporate mining practice of mountain top removal. Today I'm celebrating whole mountains. Here's a little photo essay of my run. I run in a different place every day. This route is one of my favorites.
Heading up. I always like to go up, especially at the beginning. Pond and beaver dam at center.
Sandia Mountains, 60 miles south, in background.
Thompson Peak, Santa Fe River
Thompson Peak, looming large & ghostly in the early morning light.
Atalaya Mountain. The ashes of my parents are up there! Hi Mom & Dad.
360-degree mountains. Looking west: the Jemez.
East/southeast: Picacho Peak.
Thompson Peak again. It's the mountain I'm standing on top of in the photo at the top of this blog. I love it because it's hard to get to & out of the way.
Down off the ridge now & running along a stream on the valley floor. This rock is huge, and a bear moved it looking for tasty bugs to eat. Hello bears!
A small animal abode. I'll learn what kind of animal when I run by this tree in the snow (soon, I hope) and see its tracks.
One of my favorite pieces of naturally ocurring rock art. A painting waiting to happen.
Stream bed. Right now it's a trickle, but in the spring it's a raging waterfall. On the south-facing hill above it, a man has been living in the open air for years, with minimal possessions--not even a tent. He's the only person I ever see out here. I think about his grit & love of solitude. He's chosen a nice spot.
Almost back to my starting point. Chamisa in the foreground, piñon in the back. Three ponderosa pines.
Deer tracks beneath an apple tree that appears to have seeded itself and grown wild. It's a magnet for deer, bears, and everything smaller.
Almost back to the field where I started, and where I saw a bobcat last week and a doe and fawn all summer. Picacho peak behind the cottonwoods in their fall colors.
I am a Santa Fe New Mexico painter. I have always had two bodies of work: animals and abstractions. Both are an expression of the same concern with our relationship with nature.
My currently body of representational work, Habitat, brings animals in wildlife hospitals and farm sanctuaries into environments abandoned by humans. By placing animals in human archeological ruins, I invite the viewer to consider the destruction of wildlife habitat, factory farming, and the choices we can make to change course.
I spend a good deal of time in the wilderness, tracking, observing and photographing wildlife and free-running mountain streams.
Painting in watercolors and oils is an intimate interaction with water and earth minerals. When one moves paint around on canvas or paper, the forms that are the conceptual matrices underlying conscious experience emerge. I step aside and let that process happen, allowing the painting to breathe and reveal its internal structures and symbols.
I am fortunate to have studied oil and watercolor painting with Sam Scott. He taught me to see seasonal color, to be fearless in painting my vision of nature, and to be unafraid of beauty.