Saturday, May 9, 2009
The afternoon before I made this painting, I pulled off the road and, entranced by fields of wheat at sundown, I painted "Blue-Plate Special," (Monday, April 20).
As dusk wound into evening and then spun into night, I cut through the countryside to find a hotel. I'd turned off the main road and onto a side road, and as I drove, and the sun lowered, the land around me grew more enchanting. Small golden hills sloped into blue shadows. The sky and the wheatfields became pink and then lilac and then slipped into darkness. Cows watched me skirt their pastures.
The next day, I found the road but I couldn't find what I had seen the evening before. I drove up and down the length of that road, and still, the gentle landscape I had seen refused to reappear.
It was then that it dawned on me that what I loved was not the wheatfields themselves, but the wheatfields at dusk, picking up the colors of the sun setting across the huge, open plains.
And so, I stopped to paint.
The sun beat down on this Texas roadway as I painted. The temperature climbed to more than 100 degrees, and bugs swarmed as I painted. Not a car passed, and there was no noise beyond the singing of the birds and the buzzing heat of a Texas noon.