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.