Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June 28, 2010 -- MID-SUMMER'S EVE. Quiet has settled over the lake for the evening. The chatter of insects has stopped, the frogs haven't yet begun their bellowing songs. Great time for the fish to bite.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

GREAT BLUE HERON 10" x 10" Watercolor

March 23, 2010 - BABY WATCH. Spring has finally come to the lake. Just north of Red Bud Isle, great blue herons have built four large nests in the treetops. And on the small island in front of them the female swan is laying on their nest, while the male swan patrols the waters in front of it. Babies should be arriving in about a month.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

AFTER THE RAIN 14" X 18" Pastel
March 1, 2010 - AFTER THE RAIN. The glow of morning light pushes the clouds away. After an early rain shower, the lake is bathed in a fine mist and the scent of fresh air.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

HEADWATERS 14" X 18" Pastel
February 2, 2010. SEARCH FOR THE SOURCE. Footprints -- too many to count, but no trace of them, except animal tracks made since the last rain. The land where the Colorado River begins its 900 mile journey to the Gulf, the Paleo-Indians called home, dating back some 11,000 years ago. Clovis points found in the area are the only mark that remains from their time here. Followed by the Comanches and Lipan Apaches, they were mostly hunters and gathers, using only what they needed from the land. They were "leavers" as described by author Daniel Quinn in his book Ishmael. And so the River and its path, at least here, look much like back then, cutting its way through the rough landscape of red clay cliffs and arroyas, and providing the life sustaining gift so many have sought from its waters.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

EMPTY NEST 12" X 18" Charcoal & Pencil
January 16, 2010--SEARCH FOR THE SOURCE. Empty nest at the source of the Colorado River. I found this oriole's nest in a wild plum tree, near the small pool of water that begins the Colorado River. What a masterpiece, both River and nest. Orioles are master nest builders. Just trying to draw it was a challenge. How did the oriole, with just her beak and claws, weave these tiny threads of grass and yucca fibers together into this intricate fabric all the while suspending it between two branches? This tree, just beginning to bloom, was in an arroya that leads into the Colorado's small pool. Mrs. Stewart, co-owner of the ranch, (Martha Stewart, actually) had commented that she had made plum jelly from the grove over the years. The oriole, after all her work, will seldom reuse the nest, but she may recycle some of the materials.

Monday, January 11, 2010

THE SOURCE 22" x 28" OIL
January 11, 2010 -- SEARCH FOR THE SOURCE. A mirror of time. Raindrops, gathered in the Ogallala Aquifer deep under the Caprock Escarpment, surface now among reeds and cattails yellow and brown from winter frost. Under the gaze of a great horned owl hidden in the shadows of twilight, the Colorado River has a simple birth, bare of all fanfare. Its unassuming presence exudes a quite strength. As the winter sunset escapes into a cold night sky, the river's source offers a promise of hope and renewal. NOTE: Five years ago in the middle of January, I set off to find the source of the Colorado River. From GPS maps I finally found it in Dawson County just east of Lamesa on the Don Stewart Ranch. I made several trips here hiking the riverbed and visiting with the ranchers. This month I'll share some of that experience.

Thursday, December 31, 2009


December 31, 2009 -- LAST LIGHT. Every day a new picture is painted and framed, held up for half an hour, in such lights as the Great Artist chooses, and then withdrawn, and the curtain falls. And then the sun goes down, and long the afterglow gives light, and then the damask curtains glow along the western window, and now the first star is lit, and I go home...Henry David Thoreau