Thursday, June 17, 2010

Appreciating Summer

I'm a winter person. I've been working on appreciating summer. This work is easier at the crepuscular times of the day, and at night, under the stars. I went out this morning just after sunrise and made my way up Two-Doe Mountain, one of my regular summer early-morning haunts. I tracked a doe and fawn for half an hour and lost them at this stream crossing.

It was a pleasant place to be led to.  It had everything a doe and fawn require: water, food, and dense cover. That last item can be hard to find in the Southwest.

In order to better appreciate summer, I took my camera along to record what inspires me.  Deer, of course. I follow them even when I am not trying to, or trying not to. But deer are for all seasons.  I find magic in snow, but there is inspiration in summer. Here's a shortlist, all shot this morning.
Mountains, and a certain summer color of sky.  Sam Scott, whose artwork and writing you should know if you don't, taught me that the eye sees the three primary colors, and, when one is absent, adds it.  He talks of seasonal color palettes.  On late spring/almost summer mornings like today,  the eye adds a hint of red/magenta along the ridgetops.
Animal homes.
Land art created by the elements. 

This lightning-killed tree is a painting waiting to happen.   It's also a home to more living beings than it was when it was alive. 

I was thinking yesterday about monumental land art like Spiral Jetty, corn mazes, etc.  While there is something there to appreciate, they are monuments to ego, as is, perhaps, all art that is not temporary.  When land art is created by the elements, it is without ego.  Perhaps that's the definition of magical.  But then my eye sees it, and I want to recreate it as a painting, a monument to my ego.  Ha!   

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