Friday, October 15, 2010

A Different Autumn

I've been lame in the foot for five months now, and it has changed my painting. Rather than running in the mountains, I am hobbling around the neighborhood and foothills and finding beauty where it lies, which is everywhere. My painting is becoming more focused on unexpected beauty. 

Looking North, toward the upper Santa Fe watershed, at dusk:
As the sun slipped into the West, this doe showed herself to me. My camera recorded an eery silver light.    
A little further upriver, a couple of days later, I joined my daughter's class on a field trip to Nichols Reservior, where we recorded insect populations in the Santa Fe River, learned that the water is still pretty clean here, tracked a bear, and discovered an abandoned beaver lodge, high and dry.   
The boom and bust cycles of water in this desert affect me and my art more than any other single factor. Last fall the skies were cloud-hidden, brooding, and wet. The colors of the landscape were saturated with autumn rains, a rare treat here in the high desert Southern Rockies. The winter brought above average snowfall,

and our luck held until late spring, when the runoff was raging and every cliff became a waterfall.
Then came a summer of little rain and a now a warm dry autumn. I seek out water and find beauty in what there is left.
My paintings of late are small focused moments, maps of a dry season, in which memories of mobility and rain comingle with artifacts gathered last year on long runs in the backcountry.  Click on the painting (The River Is Moving . . .) at the top right of the blog see what I've been up to. 

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