Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, New Mexico

I felt that a real living form is the natural result of the individual’s effort to create the living thing out of the adventure of his spirit into the unknown—where it has experienced something—felt something—it has not understood—-and from that experience comes the desire to make the unknown—-known…..

Georgia O’Keeffe

These paintings were created in response to a hike along the trail from the base lodge at Ghost Ranch up around through the canyon to get a view of Pedernal as Georgia O’Keefe would have seen it.

I went into the hike somewhat blindly. No agenda really other than to walk the grounds around the base lodge and to get a feel for this landscape which was so foreign to me, having flown in from wintery Vermont. My sister joined me. She is athletic, so a simple stroll would not be the plan. We chose a trail. Early season; no other hikers; high winds. It was February, not tourist season…so we did not see a soul for the first two hours. There were points as we passed through the bouldering sections—-some narrow passes and ledges—- that I thought: maybe this is a bad idea to be out here alone? Light moving through a canyon is mesmerizing though and you cannot help but keep going. For me it was like walking through a giant abstract painting. So many juxtapositions of simple forms, shapes, scarred by lines carved across such a broad stretch of time. The palette reveals the age, literally, with strata of white, yellow and red ochre rock sections stacked upon each other. And something about the curve of the wall keeps promising you that you should keep looking, because around the corner is the best view.

Spending time in a place where millions of people have passed…but your are there alone… an “unknown.” Impossible to describe with words or paint. Painting about that feeling though, is envigorating.

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