Thomas Hill, the famous CA painter of the late 19th and early 20th century, talked about painting the grandeur of nature. He’s qouted as saying when he first started to paint he looked for the great sweep of nature. But as time went by, he found that a patch of hillside or a copse of trees made for beauty enough to capture. Another artist and teacher Irby Brown made the observation, “Simplicity is not for Simpletons”. True enough!
Archive for the Santa Fe Category
Many years ago, I came to recognize a kind of place within me that was different from normal waking consciousness. It was that place that we all know, I’m sure its not unique to me, where time goes out of order and we are completely free and fully engaged in the present moment. Its been called the “flow state”. It happens from time to time in play and work, where the reverie of action holds sway over the entirety of experience. Its a forgotten space, a space beyond past and future. I feel like I may want to call it sacred space, really. I probably lived there quite a bit as a child, playing in the sand…
Now I may find myself at the easel, remembering a glance at the clock and its 10AM. The next thing I remember its 2 or 3 in the afternoon and I discover I’m hungry or ready for rest. And in the meantime something has happened. Those times can be full of challenge, frustration and exultation even, but they happen in a sort of vacum, where we forget that time is passing or even running at all.
I remember walking in the arroyo near my house one March afternoon, and stumbling upon this beautiful scene of juniper and desert, and the pink slopes of the Sangre de Cristo beyond. Running for the car and then home to collect my paints and back to the spot, breathlessly hurrying to get to the painting, and then letting loose, arriving an hour later with the painting, “Sangre Spring”.
Or the time I was restlessly casting about for ideas in the studio, and then coming across a slide I had considered many times as a subject but never taken up…and then in a rush, launching myself into the painting of it, leaving the jittery uncertainty behind in a flurry of designate action. “Shadow Juniper” came about in that space as well.
These pieces are traces of that state.