Monday, April 20, 2009
The gorgeous places in this country move my heart, thrill my soul, excite my eyes. The Petrified Forest, the Painted Desert, the Canyon de Chelly, Shiprock, all the extraordinary places I've seen and painted on this trip - they have been miracles of nature and inspiration.
But still, to my peasant eyes, there's nothing quite as wonderful as the ordinarily beautiful. The sun setting on the grasses of the prairie on a secondary road in Texas was so breathtaking that I pulled over, just like that, set up my easel and painted in a near-frenzy. The light and the landscape grew more and more beautiful as the sun neared the horizon. The grasses became rosy, warmer and warmer in color, the shadows deeper and deeper - and then a train passed, and the engineer whistled his whistle at me, and it was such a perfect piece of America, it brought tears to my eyes.
In all of this journey of discovery, it is these moments that are my touchstones. Yes, I can go to the miraculous places, the ones we all cherish and protect - but my gift, I think, is recognizing the beautiful in the mundane, and my challenge is to capture and communicate that understanding.
Thanks for reading!