I woke up from a dream of the desert. It felt like my subconscious came to some profound understanding about the places of strange beauty and the places of strange mystery.
This photo came from a tour book of sites for the plein air artists.
I don’t know if I can express it in words, but I’ll try.
The time I spent at the Ghost Ranch and the time I spent on the road must have had an effect on me. I was glad I took the time to sit there and stare at it. One thing about the plein air week was that the artists are expected to make lasting friendships and go to another plein air event to feel part of the plein air family, but I didn’t do that, alas. The group was rushing around to as many beautiful places and whipping out as many oil or watercolor sketches as they could every day and I, with my weak social skills and slow way of working, still kept to myself too much. I didn’t want to try to go fast with it like they did. I wanted to sit there in the beautiful spots and commune with nature every day as I worked on my painting.
How can an artist get the most out of it if they hurry through it? How can they pick up the vibe of the desert if they’re socializing with so many people? Can they see the mystery in the empty spaces if they fly over it? When I woke up I felt like out of all the 100 or so artists at the event, I was definitely the slowest, but something else. I have my doubts that any of the others felt it like I did. Could I ever give up painting the way I do so that I could fit in better socially? Should I change my style? Should I do unfinished paintings that are sketchy and have no depth or detail? No. I remember it well, at least for now. It’s not a fast food hamburger, it’s a piece of prime rib to be savored. Do you know what I mean?